Why are annual exams so important?
Just as physical exams are recommended for humans, they are recommended for our pets as well. If your cat or dog is older or has medical problems, they may need even more frequent examinations. Read more about health screenings for your older pet here.
A year is a long time in a pet’s life. Between exams, many factors may cause a change in your pet’s health status. Assuming our pets will live to their early teens, they will only have about thirteen annual exams in a lifetime. That is not very many when you think about it. We may uncover a hidden health threat. However, for the cost savings in early detection, an annual exam can save you money.
During your annual exams, we’ll review these aspects of their health with you:
Vaccination status – there are more environmental threats to your pet’s health than ever before, and timely vaccinations are one of the most reliable ways to avoid future problems. We’ll explain the most common threats during your annual exams.
Parasite control for intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, mites, and heartworms
Dental health – we’ll review the care you give at home; any mouth odors, pain, or other signs of disease you may have observed
Nutrition – including what your pets eat, how often, what supplements and treats are given, and changes in water consumption, weight, or appetite
Exercise – how much exercise your pet receives including how often and what kind; and any changes in your pet’s ability to exercise is one of the most important discussions we’ll have during your annual exams
Ears and Eyes – any discharge, redness, or itching
Stomach and intestines – any vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, gas, belching, or abnormal stools
Breathing – any coughing, shortness of breath, sneezing, or nasal discharge
Behavior – any behavior problems such as barking, ‘accidents,’ or changes in temperament
Feet and legs – any limping, weakness, toenail problems
Coat and skin – any hair loss, pigment changes, lumps, itchy spots, shedding, mats, oranal sac problems
Urogenital – any discharges, heats, changes in mammary glands, urination difficulties or changes, neutering if it has not already been performed
Blood tests – especially for geriatric dogs, those with medical problems, and those who are receiving medications