There are certain steps that you can expect from us during your pet’s annual physical exam. We are here to guide you through the entire process, giving you and your pet peace of mind.
First we will ask you questions about your pet’s health. This helps us determine whether there are specific problems that need to be addressed. Second we will weigh your pet and compare it to their previous weight. A change in diet might be needed to avoid health problems related to obesity or if your pet is losing weight over time, that could be a sign of a medical problem that needs further examination.
Following the questionnaire we will start your pets physical exam. Usually starting at the head, we look at your pet’s eyes, ears, face and mouth. Examining the teeth is especially important, since up to 85% of dogs and cats over four years old have gum disease. We will then examine your pet’s skin and coat for signs of parasites and look for signs of hair loss, oiliness/dryness, shedding, growths or infections. We will also listen to the chest with a stethoscope to make sure there are no issues with the heart or lungs like a heart murmur. The next step is palpating the abdomen. This means that we are feeling for masses, pain or any other abnormalities of the internal organs. Following this, we will examine the legs, looking for signs of lameness, joint swelling or arthritis. Lastly, we will take your pet’s temperature using a rectal thermometer to determine whether or not your pet has a fever.
Unfortunately our pets don’t age at the same rate as us. A year between visits can be a very long time for most pets, but even longer for your senior pet. As they age, the importance of regular check-ups becomes critical for their overall well being. Once your pet reaches the senior stage in their life, we recommend a physical exam every six months to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.