A wellness exam for your pet is a medical examination that includes but is not limited to a yearly physical check-up, in which the aim is to detect disease early and ensuring the healthy life of your pet.
Unfortunately, recent statistical numbers show that visits to veterinarians are declining and the preventable diseases in pets are in turn, increasing. Although preventive care, biannual dental cleanings, and other checkups are very common in humans to stay healthy and prevent future problems, the same cannot be said for pets.
So how often does your pet need a wellness exam? We talked to Autumn Trails veterinary centre in Charlottesville, VA and this is what they had to say.
This is How Often Your Pet Needs an Exam
- It all depends on the breed and the size of the pet. Since pets age about five to seven years for every human year on an average, it means that the health of a 7-year-old dog is equal to that of a 35-year-old human being.
Because they have a short life span, averaging at 14 years at most, it is very important that you take your pet for a wellness exam at least once a year and twice per year for pets that are beyond their 9th year.
What Exactly Happens During a Pet Wellness Exam?
- The wellness exam consists of several steps which start with a look at the pet’s lifestyle. Next, the veterinarian takes the temperature of the pet and checks its pulse and respiration rates along with its weight.
Afterwards, a head-to-tail exam is performed where the pet’s eyes, mouth, ears, heart, lungs, lymph nodes, musculoskeletal system, and abdomen are evaluated. After that, recommendations are made
- These recommendations typically include nutritional counseling, dental care of the pet, pain management, and behavioral advice. You will also receive vaccination recommendations, but most of the time, vaccinations are performed on the spot.
Some pet owners may choose to receive the vaccinations at their time and place of choice but you’ll have to make sure that your pet receives due immunizations on time.
- The veterinarian will also perform heartworm testing and intestinal parasite screens to ensure that zoonotic diseases are prevented. Since these diseases are transferable to humans, it is more than important to prevent the illness in your pet.
Finally, recommendations are given based on the physical exam and lab work to achieve maintain the optimal health of the pet.
Why are Wellness Exams Important?
- Pets are very good at hiding their illness and it can be very tough for the owner to tell if they are suffering. Through routine medical examinations, you can prevent diseases like ear infections, obesity, and certain dental diseases even if you don’t know they exist.
Early examinations also help you find out if your pet is suffering from kidney disease, arthritis, or diabetes. By finding out about these problems, you can ensure a healthier and longer life for your pet, so never ignore going for a wellness examination for your pet.