Routine Comprehensive Health Exams - All Stages of Life

Why Does My Pet Need a Comprehensive Exam?

Because your pet can’t tell you when something feels wrong, our veterinarians will rely on regular comprehensive examinations, as well as your own observations as the pet’s owner, to determine the state of your pet’s overall health.  These examinations are vital to the long-term well being of your pets.

What Is a Comprehensive Exam?

When you bring your pet in for a comprehensive exam, he or she will receive a nose-to-tail checkup, but what exactly does that entail?  A comprehensive exam includes:

–   Nose to tail examination by our Veterinarian which includes: looking at the eyes, ears, oral health, skin and coat health, listening to the heart and obtaining a heart rate, listening to the lungs and getting a respiration rate, temperature, weight, and palpating the abdomen.

–   For puppies and kittens: this exam will be performed along with a discussion about training, recommended vaccinations, heartworm and flea/tick prevention, and when they should be spayed or neutered.

–   For senior pets: this exam will be performed along with a discussion about recommended lab work and blood pressure, and any supplements that may help with your pets aging process.

Each visit, your pet will be weighed to determine whether he or she is at a normal weight and will require nutritional counseling or exercise recommendations based on their weight.

We will check your cat or dog’s skin and coat, important as they are often great indicators of a pet’s overall health. When examining the eyes, your veterinarian will check for irregular or abnormal responses to light, discharge, or redness in your cat and dog, as well as examine the structures in the back of the eye. In aging pets, they will often look especially for signs of cataracts, which may cloud the vision of your pet’s eye lens, and could, if left untreated, lead to blindness.

We will also examine the ear flap, deep ear canals, and ear drums for any abnormal smells, redness, the presence of infection, parasites such as ear mites, growths or tumors.

Your pet’s nose will also be examined by our veterinarians for any abnormal appearance or discharge, before examining the inside of your pet’s mouth to look at dental health and check for abnormal masses, smells, or swelling. This helps to detect any signs of periodontal disease, since dental health is an important contributor to a healthy pet. Regular brushings can greatly improve your pet’s dental health, and overall quality of life.

Our veterinarians will manipulate and feel your pet’s legs, joints, abdomen and anal sacs to check for any unusual reactions, such as the appearance of pain or abnormal lumps. If a stool sample is available, our veterinarians will also perform tests to check for parasites.

Using a stethoscope, your veterinarian will listen to your pet’s heart and lungs to check for heart murmurs and abnormal lung sounds. If your dog or cat is due for any routine vaccinations or laboratory work, our veterinarians will take care of these needs during your pet’s visit. For example, your veterinarian will test your dog yearly for heartworms. Older pets may also have blood tests to check their kidneys, liver, and other internal organs.

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