Pet Wellness: You Get What You Give

iStock_000009827806_MediumHistorically, pets visited the veterinarian only when they were sick. More and more, however, the focus of veterinary medicine has shifted from treatment of diseases to prevention.

We now know that many diseases and problems are preventable or best treated early on in their course. With ever improving changes and advances in veterinary medicine, this is becoming easier and easier to accomplish. It doesn’t take any fancy tests or diagnostic equipment, however, to provide good wellness care for your pets. It all starts with the exam.

Your Pet’s Physical Examination

If you have ever called to tell us that your pet is having a problem, you probably realize that more often than not, we need to examine your pet. This is for a good reason. We can gain so much information by seeing your pet in person and doing a thorough physical examination.

During a visit your pet will receive a thorough “nose-to-tail” exam. We will be looking at:

  • The eyes
  • Your pet’s teeth and oral cavity
  • The ears and skin
  • Your pet’s musculoskeletal system
  • The cardiovascular and respiratory system
  • Your pet’s lymph nodes
  • The neurological status of your pet

Your pet’s physical condition can change dramatically in even a short amount of time. With one year in your pet’s life being roughly equivalent to seven in a human’s life, frequent physical exams are important. We recommend having your pet thoroughly examined at least twice yearly.

Preventative Care for Pets

Thankfully with advances in modern veterinary medicine, we have more options than ever before to help keep healthy pets healthy. Depending on your pet’s risk factors and individual needs, we will likely recommend:

  • Routine “core” vaccinations (this is a great time to have a physical examination performed on your pet)
  • Need-based vaccinations
  • Parasite prevention for things like heartworms, intestinal parasites, fleas, and ticks

Every pet is different, as is his or her individual situation. We are happy to take time at your pet’s visit or over the phone to help decide what types of preventative care are needed.

Screening Tests for Pets

Some wellness-type care requires testing beyond a physical examination. Depending on your pet’s age, species, lifestyle, and risk factors, we may also recommend additional screening tests. Screening tests are those tests that are designed to catch problems that are asymptomatic (not showing symptoms). These tests allow us to diagnose and treat issues before they become serious. Examples of screening tests we may recommend include:

  • Fecal floatation for intestinal parasites
  • Blood testing for heartworms
  • Blood testing for feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia
  • Blood testing for tick-borne diseases
  • Urine screening
  • Blood work to monitor vital organ function and cell counts

Taking good care of your pet is more than just bringing him or her in when a problem arises. Pet parents taking a proactive role in the health of their animals is helping our pet population live longer and happier lives than ever before. We are proud to be part of this trend, and look forward to helping your pet be as healthy as possible.

If you would like more information about wellness care for your pet or would like to learn more about our complete pet wellness care packages, please let us know.