Many of us procrastinate when it comes to scheduling our annual health exam, even though we all know the importance of preventive care. Like us, our pets also benefit from those annual (or biannual) wellness visits.
Wellness care is the foundation for a better, healthier life, and can even add a few extra years spent with your best fur friend.
The Importance of Preventive Pet Care
Pets are adept at masking signs of pain and illness. Even simple aging can impact your pet’s quality of life, and important signs go undetected when certain screenings and diagnostics are neglected. Cats are particularly skilled at hiding symptoms, which is why BeeVet Animal Hospital encourages twice yearly exams for felines (especially for those over the age of 6).
A wellness exam evaluates your whole pet from head to tail and establishes a baseline for your pet’s health. The focus on prevention is key. Your veterinarian will use a variety of diagnostic tools, such as a blood chemistry panel or urinalysis, to screen for a myriad of issues that would otherwise go undetected.
What’s Included in a Wellness Exam?
Preventive pet care is tailored to the individual patient. There is no “one size fits all,” since factors like species, breed, age, and medical history play important roles in what we recommend.
In most cases, the following factors are assessed:
- Weight loss or gain based on the Body Condition Score
- Musculoskeletal changes, including muscle mass loss
- Teeth and gum health
- Vision and hearing check and a thorough examination of the eyes, ears, and nose
- Changes to skin or coat health and quality
- Internal organ health, such as listening to the heart and lungs
- Palpating the abdomen, legs, etc. for the presence of growths or tumors
Depending on what we find during your pet’s physical exam, lab tests or x-rays may be recommended.
The wellness exam is also a great time for you to discuss any changes in your pet, such as behavioral issues or loss of appetite or energy. All of these factors play significant roles in determining how to treat or prevent illness in your pet.
It’s also important to note that annual exams are integral to catching diseases early on – especially those that are on the rise and tend to impact senior pets. These include:
- Diabetes or other endocrine disorders
- Periodontal disease and other dental conditions
- Renal problems, such as urinary tract infections
- Skin conditions, like hot spots or allergies
To keep your pet’s health in peak condition, contact us to schedule a routine wellness exam. Preventive pet care will support a longer, healthier life for your pet, and that’s something every owner can feel great about.