Twice yearly wellness exams can help your veterinarian detect problems in your pet earlier. Since your dog cannot tell you how they are feeling, you must rely on regular physical examinations by a veterinarian to assess your pet’s health. Exam protocols vary from veterinarian to veterinarian. You can typically expect your pet’s wellness exams to include a body temperature check, mouth, eye and ear check, listening to heart and lungs, gently feeling lymph glands, throat and abdominal organs for abnormalities, musculoskeletal strength and stability check, skin and coat check, laboratory tests based on the age of pet and physical findings.
Annual wellness exams also help your veterinarian determine a proper prevention program for your pet. Regular preventive care can help improve the health and quality of your pet’s life. Vaccinations protect your pets from contracting preventable diseases. Talk to your veterinarian about developing a vaccination protocol that’s appropriate for your pet – and be sure to stick to it! Regular flea and heartworm prevention also plays an important role in protecting your pet. Talk to your veterinarian to understand what is recommended for your pet’s unique environment and lifestyle.
Because dogs and cats age seven times faster, on average, than people, significant health changes can occur in a short amount of time. And, the risks of cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, heart disease, metabolic problems and other serious conditions all increase with age. A wellness exam every six months is recommended so that veterinarians have the opportunity to detect, treat or prevent problems before they become life-threatening.
Steven Wolchinsky, DVM
Rocky Gorge Animal Hospital LLC