What is a Wellness Examination?
A wellness examination is a routine assessment of healthy pets to ensure they are maintaining good health.
How often should my dog or cat have a wellness examination?
Your puppy or kitten will need to be seen monthly starting at 6-8 weeks of age. This monthly visit includes vaccinations and a physical assessment to ensure your pet is growing and developing well. These visits are also a great time to talk about any questions or concerns you may have about your new pet.
Your adult pet should have a wellness examination once a year. As your pet ages, we recommend a semiannual examination especially during the senior stage. These recommendations are a generalization, and your veterinarian may suggest an alternate schedule based on your pet’s health, breed and lifestyle. Of course, anytime your pet seems to be ill, a physical examination should be completed.
What will my veterinarian check during a wellness examination?
During a wellness examination, your pet will get a physical exam and you will discuss your pet’s attitude and habits at home. We will also address any questions you may have about your pet’s well-being.
What does my veterinarian check during a physical examination?
During the physical examination, your pet will be looked at from the nose all the way to the tip of the tail and everything in between.
This will include:
- Eyes– are they clear or cloudy? Any discharge or growths?
- Mouth– color and condition of gums, the health of teeth, any growths or bad odor?
- Nose– free from discharge and growths
- Ears– any wax or discharge, odor, or growths
- Body condition– are they too thin or overweight
- Hair and skin– check texture, lesions, or for any hair loss
They will listen to:
- Heart – rate, arrhythmias, murmurs
- Lungs – rate and sound
They will palpitate the:
- Legs– pain, stiffness, masses
- Abdomen– kidney, liver, spleen, growths, pain
- Pulse– rate and strength
- Lymph Nodes– enlargement
What else might be checked during a wellness examination?
- Urine– infection, inflammation, the presence of blood
- Feces– intestinal parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms
- Blood– A general health panel will take a look at internal organ function such as the liver and kidneys and a complete blood cell count will look at white and red blood cell counts as well as platelets and can check for any indication of infection
Is there anything I need to do to prepare my dog for a wellness examination?
You may be asked to bring a urine or stool sample with you or to have your pet fast prior to coming in for testing. Please be sure to ask about this when scheduling your appointment. Also, make sure you know what your pet’s diet consists of, including brand, type, amounts fed, and treats. Please bring along a list of all medications or supplements your pet is on as well.