Much like humans need periodic health screenings, both dogs and cats need the same. Pet wellness exams in Watkinsville, GA are thorough examinations to make sure your pet’s health is well-maintained. Having these routine exams means you are taking 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.
What Happens During a Pet Wellness Exam – A Closer Look
The routine pet wellness exam is designed to give the vet a good understanding f the pet’s general health and wellness. Throughout the exam, the vet will be looking at several attributes of the pet’s condition. And, 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 joint health for an older pet or parasite control.
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 even 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 the skin
- Look into the pet’s eyes, ears, nose, and face
- Open your pet’s mouth to examine the teeth and tongue
- Examine skin folds and muscles
- Assess bumps, growths, or skin irritation
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. The vet will also listen to your pets pulse.
During pet wellness exams in Watkinsville, GA, 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
Beyond the general evaluations, the vet may recommend a number of other optional tests based on their findings or simply as a precautionary process. 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)
- Fecal analysis
- Heartworm testing
In the even bone, joint, or digestion issues are suspected, x-rays may also be recommended.
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?
Most pet owners try to get pet checkups about once a year. However, how often your pet needs an exam can vary depending on age, health history, and other factors. For example, puppies often need more frequent checkups early in life, but a middle-aged dog may only need a checkup annually. But, by the time a dog reaches senior status or if it develops health concerns, exams twice annually are often preferred. Felines often need a similar exam schedule.
Schedule Pet Wellness Exams in Watkinsville, GA
Regular pet wellness exams sets 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.