Wellness exams can play a crucial role in ensuring that your pet stays in good health. They also allow for quick treatment should your pet encounter any serious health issues. By taking your pet to the vet for regular check-ups, you are able to make the most informed decisions about the care you'll provide for them to best suit their individual needs.
In order to effectively monitor and maintain your pet’s health, your pet should be taken to the vet for a complete physical check-up at least once a year. However, your vet may be inclined to recommend more frequent visits depending on your pet's age and current health condition. For example, a senior pet may require wellness checks more often than a young adult, as their health is likely to deteriorate at a faster rate.
These wellness examinations enable you and your vet to track your pet’s growth and development as well as discuss any concerns or issues that could arise. Therefore, knowing what happens during a wellness exam can be just as important as knowing when you need to book an appointment for your pet.
The first part of your pet’s wellness exam will consist of a consultation with your vet. This is the best time to bring up any issues concerning your pet’s health, behavior, and overall wellbeing. If you do not have any initial thoughts or concerns to raise, your vet will then ask you a series of questions to gain a better understanding of your pet and any pre-existing health conditions that they may have. Depending on what is discussed, your vet may also provide additional advice on how best to care for your pet and their needs, such as changing their diet, increasing their exercise, or giving them supplements.
A physical examination allows your vet to check over your pet for any abnormalities and ensure that your pet is in good physical condition. This allows for early detection of any issues as well as immediate treatment should your pet require it. The following are some of the check-ups conducted during your pet’s physical exam:
Checking your pet’s vitals (i.e. – pulse, respiration, and temperature
Inspecting your pet’s eyes, mouth, and ears for cases of infection
Ensuring your pet’s nails are not overgrown or causing your pet discomfort
Evaluating your pet’s joint mobility (indications of arthritis or similar conditions)
A full body check to ensure your pet’s organs are in good condition and that there are no abnormalities
Your vet could decide to run some tests on your pet, which could include parasite tests, blood tests, or urine and fecal tests. Depending on the results from your pet’s physical exam, your vet may even carry out some x-rays. All of these tests allow for the identification of potential internal health issues that are otherwise undetectable, but are better treated as soon as possible. Some of the conditions that can be detected using diagnostic testing include diabetes, heartworms, thyroid disease, kidney and liver problems.
Vaccinations, boosters as well as any other preventatives you may want your pet to have may be able to be administered during your pet’s wellness exam. By doing this, you may be able to reduce the number of appointments you will need to book for your pet, as well as mitigate the risk of forgetting to book the appointments at all! Vaccinations are very important when it comes to preserving your pet’s health, so it is crucial that you keep them up to date. It is wise to discuss with your vet how often your pet will require certain vaccines and if you are able to do them during their wellness exam in advance of booking them so you can keep your visits to the vet to a minimum.
If you would like more information about pet wellness exams or to schedule an appointment, please contact our dedicated veterinary team at Santa Monica Pet Medical Center by calling (310) 393-8218 today.