A healthy start is essential for your pet to enjoy a healthy, happy life. At Santa Monica Pet Medical Center we not only offer standard wellness services; our doctors also take time to know every pet and pinpoint additional areas requiring treatment. Our personalized wellness programs are flexible and designed to cover a wide range of basic and elective services, from vaccinations to acupuncture.
Pet wellness care is necessary for puppies and kittens, but it is also very important for adult and senior pets. Comprehensive health checks are the only way we can effectively prevent issues and keep animals as healthy as possible throughout their life.
Parasites are an important topic that will need to be addressed during your pet's wellness visit. This is especially relevant for new puppies and kittens, which are often born with internal parasites already in their systems. Fortunately, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and other intestinal parasites can be treated with proper medication. The key is catching and eliminating them early for your pet's benefit.
Fleas, ticks and heartworm are ever present, and prevention remains the key to staying healthy. Ticks are capable of spreading Lyme disease and other illnesses with just one bite, and fleas can cause flea allergy dermatitis, an itchy, irritating condition that can lead to infection. Heartworm disease, which is spread by mosquitoes, is now a concern in Santa Monica and in the Los Angeles. We now recommend heartworm testing and the use of preventatives.
An annual wellness exam is a standard, thorough physical of a healthy animal in which one of our doctors will examine your pet from nose to tail. This involves checking their heart rate, lungs, temperature, weight, and the following areas:
Ears, eyes and teeth/gums
Nose, skin/coat, paws, nails
Tail, reproductive organs and anal region
While examining your pet, your doctor will be looking for lumps, bumps, lesions, and other abnormal signs. They will also ask you about your pet's behavior, daily habits, and diet to better understand their lifestyle.
The annual wellness exam is also the ideal time to perform other diagnostic tests, including a fecal test to screen for parasites, and a basic complete blood panel to screen for underlying disease and very importantly to establish baseline values for what normal means for your pet. Pets that are older or living with chronic health problems may need to have their additional blood and urine labwork done to test organ function and disease effects. A wellness exam is not the same as a sick pet exam.
Preventing disease and maintaining optimal health are the primary goals of pet wellness care. Seeing your pet once a year for their exam, diagnostics, and additional treatments is the best way for us to achieve proper maintenance and keep them healthy. To schedule your pet for their annual exam, simply call us at (310) 393-8218.