Pet Wellness Exams in Watkinsville, GA

Much like humans, our pets need periodic health screenings as well to ensure a long and happy life. Pet wellness exams at Southern Hearts are thorough examinations to make sure your pet’s health is well-maintained. Having these routine exams means you are taking a proactive approach about safeguarding your beloved pet’s health. In many cases, small issues caught during a pet checkup can be addressed early with better health outcomes. At Southern Hearts Animal Hospital, we’re happy to help you ensure optimal pet health for the life of your pet.

What Happens During a Pet Wellness Exam – A Closer Look

The routine pet wellness exam is designed to give the vet a good understanding of the pet’s general health and wellness. Throughout the exam, the vet will be looking at several attributes of the pet’s condition. You can expect to be asked questions about things like exercise, diet, water intake, lifestyle, and any concerns you have about certain symptoms. Preventive treatments may also be discussed for things like parasite control or joint health for an older pet.

Observations and Inspections

You can expect the vet to observe several things about your pet during the visit. One of the first things that happens is getting your pet’s weight. The vet may ask your pet or ask you to have your pet do certain things, such as walk around the exam room. The vet will be looking at how the pet moves, whether the pet is alert, and general body condition. You may see the vet:

  • Rub through the pet’s fur and examine their skin
  • Look into the pet’s eyes, ears, nose, and face
  • Open your pet’s mouth to examine their teeth and tongue
  • Examine skin folds and muscles
  • Assess bumps, growths, or skin irritation

Heart and Lungs

During the exam, the vet will use a stethoscope to listen to your pets heart and lungs. Oftentimes, this allows the vet to point out things like abnormal heart beats or respiratory issues.

Physical Assessments

During pet wellness exams, the vet will palpate or physically touch and apply pressure to several areas of your pet’s body. They will check:

  • Lymph nodes around the legs, neck, and head for signs of discomfort or swelling
  • The stomach and abdomen for tender or swollen areas
  • The legs and paws for signs of muscle or nerve issues, toenail problems, or signs of weakness

Optional Testing

Beyond the general evaluations, the vet may recommend a number of other tests based on their findings or simply as a precautionary process. Routine or annual lab work may be recommended as a preventative measure. Additional testing may either be used to obtain an accurate diagnosis of a suspected illness or to detect a condition as early as possible. Additional testing is more likely if your pet is reaching an older age or is a specific breed prone to certain ailments. Tests that may be recommended include:

  • Thyroid and hormone analysis
  • Blood tests, such as the complete blood count (CBC) or chemistry
  • Urinalysis
  • Fecal analysis
  • Heartworm testing

In the event bone, joint, or digestion issues are suspected, x-rays may also be recommended.

Pet Vaccinations

Pet vaccinations are also commonly scheduled to be done at the time of pet wellness exams. During your visit, the vet may check the immunization records to determine if there are vaccinations your dog or cat are due to have.

How Often Should a Pet Have a Wellness Exam?

It is recommended that all pets get an exam at least once a year. However, how often your pet needs an exam can vary depending on age, health history, and other factors. For example, puppies and kittens often need more frequent checkups early in life, but a middle-aged animal may only need a checkup annually. By the time a pet reaches senior status or develops health concerns, exams two or more times a year are often preferred.

How to Prepare for a Pet Wellness Exam

When you book your appointment with Southern Hearts Veterinary Hospital for pet wellness exams, be sure to ask about getting prepared. In some cases, the vet may request that you bring a urine sample, avoid feeding on the day of the visit, or something similar. Other than what the vet requests, be sure to know a few things about your pet, such as:

  • What type of food and treats your pet eats and how often
  • What types of supplements or medications your pet takes
  • Whether anyone that lives with the dog has spotted anything concerning about health or behavior

You will get the opportunity to ask questions as well during the checkup. Jot down any questions you have about things like health maintenance, dietary recommendations, or otherwise.

Schedule Pet Wellness Exams in Watkinsville, GA

Regular pet wellness exams set your pet on the path for a healthy future. If you need to schedule a pet wellness exam in Watkinsville, reach out to our team a Southern Hearts Veterinary Hospital.