Chances are good that two-thirds of the people reading this sentence have had a wellness or preventive care examination in the past year. If you have not, your health insurer most likely has been bombarding you with reminders, statistics and witty GIFS about ‘early detection early treatment’.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer usually develop over time. But the sooner they become known, the quicker they can be treated and the less impact (and cost for that matter) they have on your life as you age.

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Are your fur kids any different?

Actually, yes.

Since they live shorter lives, their opportunities for wellness visits over the course of their lifetime are far lower than yours. In many cases, owners head for the veterinarian only after they notice something is wrong.

Pets can and do develop all the above diseases though, and many more. Our dogs and cats are also very adept at concealing symptoms we might quickly notice in a human family member.

A lot can happen in a year in an animal’s life, especially as they become seniors. We know they need their vaccines of course, but it is vital our pets receive a thorough wellness exam too.

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A comprehensive preventive/wellness examination is the best time to detect nutrition, skin, coat and nail issues, or eye/ear and dental problems. Your veterinarian will check for arthritis and other joint disease issues as well as evaluate your pet’s cardiac, urinary and lung health.  Samples will be taken for appropriate laboratory screenings. Vaccinations and flea/tick/heartworm treatments can be administered without the need for a return visit. You should also discuss any dietary concerns or lifestyle changes you are considering for your pet.

Just as with people, age appropriate screenings, detection tests and preventive examinations save pet lives every day. They can reveal serious health problems in their earliest stages, when treatment options may be more plentiful (and more affordable), providing your precious pet with the longest, happiest, healthiest life possible.

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