Why does my pet need a wellness exam?
Banning Veterinary Hospital recommends your pet receive an annual wellness exam. The reason for this exam is to catch issues early – small ailments often turn into bigger issues over time.
A wellness exam will help to diagnose both large and small ailments in pets, just like when you go in for a physical with your doctor – specifically, a wellness program is a key part of preventative medicine.
What’s included in a wellness exam?
Many people wonder if a wellness exam entails. While most pet hospitals will have their own specific criteria, a wellness examination at Banning Veterinary Hospital is (1) a complete physical examination along with (2) diagnostic testing that may include blood work, urinalysis, and (3) checking a stool sample for parasites.
In many cases, a wellness examination can help detect the early stages of disease in your pet. During the exam, it is common for a veterinarian to provide or schedule vaccinations.
Most wellness exams include a complete physical examination, which is a nose-to-tail inspection for any abnormalities. During the exam, a BVH veterinarian will use special equipment, including a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs, an otoscope to view the inside of the ears, and an ophthalmoscope to examine the eyes. Next, your pet will be given a surface exam which involves feeling the body for lumps and bumps. Finally, we will check vital signs (temperature, pulse, and respiration), record your pet’s current weight and note overall condition of coat.
Diagnostic Lab Tests
A wellness exam may also include diagnostic lab tests which involves a small blood sample to allow for complete blood cell count and a chemistry panel. These tests can help determine if your pet has problems such as anemia, infection, or an undiagnosed organ disease. Other tests, such as a thyroid evaluation, may be helpful, depending on the physical examination results and health history.
Stool Sample for Parasite Tests
Parasite tests are often performed during wellness examinations. A fresh stool sample can be tested using special procedures to identify parasites. However, not all parasites are detected through stool samples and we may recommend testing your pet for heartworm disease.
Optional Urine Tests
A urinalysis test helps determine if your pet’s kidneys are functioning correctly and may also help diagnose specific conditions, such as diabetes and urinary tract infection. A urinalysis also involves testing the urine for the presence of bacteria, blood, and sediment as well as evidence of infection.
Depending on your pet’s age, current medical condition, and medical history, we may recommend additional tests as part of your pet’s wellness examination if there is reason to suspect undiagnosed issues.
Schedule Your Pet’s Wellness Exam
Pets are unable to tell you when something is wrong, and we often are only able to see issues once they begin to limit your pet physically. Annual wellness exams are one of the best protections you can provide to your pet against preventable issues and provide them a healthier and longer life.