Human beings have annual physicals, while pets get wellness exams. Pets need a regular physical examination. They cannot speak to express themselves when in pain. It’s also difficult for owners to tell when they are uncomfortable or hurting. Even with a keen eye, you may still have difficulty picking up symptoms of unwellness.
Here’s why it’s essential to take your pet for a wellness exam:
Pets are wired to mask their pain as a survival tactic. In the wild, animals do not show their weaknesses, especially in the face of a predator. They must act strong and confident. Years after domestication, pets still want to act fine even when in pain. Unfortunately, this adaptation does not work in their favor. They suffer in silence. As a pet parent, you want to resolve any condition that makes your pet uncomfortable as soon as possible. The best way is to book your pet a wellness exam.
During the exam, the vet evaluates your pet’s weight. Animal weight is graded between 1 and 9.0, where 1 is for the severely malnourished while 9.0 is for the morbidly obese. Ideally, the pet should have a 4.5 grading. Depending on where your pet lies on the scale, the vet will provide feeding and exercise recommendations. As with humans, weight problems may cause many medical issues that can be averted with medication and diet.
The vet must also take note of the mental status and attitude of your pet. For example, he will take note of any anxious, aggressive, and fearful behavior. These behavior changes are useful in diagnosing conditions the pet may have. If the pet is aggressive when you touch a specific area, there could be an internal injury there. The pet’s behavior is also telling of things that make it more comfortable. If the pet has anxiety, the vet will diagnose that and give recommendations.
Your dog or cat may have been born a few years ago, but by animal years, it’s really old. Cats and dogs age faster than we do. With advancing age comes the need to keep tabs on health. Your cat becomes a senior at 8 years old, and a geriatric at 13 years old. Dogs also age fast, but the rate of their aging depends on their genetic predisposition. For example, a Great Dane is already a senior at four years old, while a Chihuahua is a senior as early as eight years. The vet will guide you in tailoring the pet’s wellness schedule, depending on the animal’s age and breed.
If you have noticed abnormalities or areas of concern in your pet, you are encouraged to let the vet know during your visit. Take note of changes in the pet’s diet, eating habits, behavior, physical appearance, and weight. Remember also to ask any questions you may have about caring for your pet.
Overall, an annual wellness exam provides you with an opportunity to know whether your pet is still healthy. It helps to prevent, detect, and address diseases early. For your pet’s wellness exam, visit the Santa Monica Pet Medical Center in Santa Monica, California. You can also call 310-393-8218 to request an appointment.