A wellness exam is a routine medical examination of a pet that appears healthy. The focus of the examination is to maintain optimal health in your pet. These exams should occur at a frequency depending on your pets age and current health status. When a dog is a puppy, they are recommended on a monthly basis, adult may be annually and senior, geriatric, and dogs with chronic health conditions may be semi-annual. During a wellness exam, we will take a thorough history about what your dog’s diet, exercise, behavior, lifestyle, and other general habits are. We also perform a thorough physical exam. A physical exam has many steps including the general appearance of your pet, listening to them with a stethoscope (auscultation) and feeling specific areas of their body (palpation). We observe how your pet moves, their behavior, general body condition, coat, skin, eyes, ear, mouth, and teeth. We auscultate their heart, lungs, and abdomen. We palpate pulses, lymph nodes, joints, limbs, and the abdomen. Based on the history and finding on the exam, we will make recommendations for specific preventative medicine treatments (ie. Vaccinations, parasite control, nutrition, and overall health management). We may also recommend a fecal analysis, heartworm testing, complete blood count (CBC), biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and thyroid hormone testing. Geriatric pets might need additional testing including radiographs or further diagnostic tests. These additional tests might be included because your pet cannot tell you exactly how they are feeling and as a result a disease may be present in its early stages. We want to try and catch the disease before it becomes advanced and hopefully manage or correct the problem before irreversible damage is done. As with all relationships, communication is essential, and we hope you find value in your pet’s wellness exams. Call to schedule an appointment!
New Puppy Exams
Do you have a new puppy? We know that it can be hard to think about anything but all the affection that you want to give them. However, there are a lot of new responsibilities as well, and we can help with them! This includes the first wellness exam and all the following check-ups. The first puppy exam is usually at 8 weeks of age. However, if you have any concerns before that time, you can always schedule an exam. These appointments include a physical examination, parasite control, vaccinations, toenail trims, and discussions about diet, behavior, future health care. A physical exam has many steps including the general appearance of your pet, listening to them with a stethoscope (auscultation) and feeling specific areas of their body (palpation). We observe how your pet moves, their behavior, general body condition, coat, skin, eyes, ear, mouth, teeth. We auscultate their heart, lungs, and abdomen. We palpate pulses, lymph nodes, joints, limbs, and the abdomen. Parasite control is VERY important for puppies; a fecal exam will be done and dewormer and parasite prevention plans will be discussed. We will then continue with wellness check-ups until the final set of vaccines are given around 16 weeks of age. At this time, we talk about sterilization procedures and annual wellness exams tailored to what your puppy needs are and your goals. The main goal is to keep your puppy in optimal heath! This means creating a plan to maintain that as much as possible from now until your dog’s senior years.
Blood tests and other laboratory tests are essential in aiding us to keep your dog healthy and diagnosing illness. We have certain tests that can be run at the time of your mobile appointment. We also have access to laboratory equipment that can provide further results in 24-48 hours. These tests, let us know if there are any worrisome changes in your dog’s heath. Some of these include kidney disease, diabetes, electrolyte imbalances, infection, or dehydration. These diagnostic tests with quick turnaround help us to quickly get on the right track to aid your dog. These can be included in annual exams or during a time of concern for your dog’s health.
Routine bloodwork typically includes a complete blood count (CBC) and an analysis of the chemical components in your dog’s blood. The CBC quantifies white blood cells, responsible for your dog’s immune system and the red blood cells that carry oxygen through your dog’s body. It also measures platelets, which tells us how your dog’s blood is clotting. The blood chemistry analysis will indicate the levels of crucial substances that correlate with specific organs and can help to determine their health.
Times that your dog may need blood work include during annual wellness exams so we have a baseline of normal for your pet. We can then monitor for concerning changes, prior to surgical or sedation procedures or when your dog is not acting normal.
We understand that emergencies happen, and we aim to be available to provide consultation and/or care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round. If unavailable we will make sure you have the resources to contact another veterinary professional. Typical emergencies that we can aid in complete care include wounds and lacerations, some gastrointestinal problems, and some toxicities. We can consult, begin care, and aid in directing you to the proper resources for the remaining emergencies your dog might experience including hit by car, severe bleeding, bloat (GDV), seizure, fractures, acute kidney disease, diabetes complications, paralysis, breathing difficulties, heart failure and abdominal pain.
Some of our pets may die comfortably of old age in the home, however many other become seriously ill, get injured or experience significantly diminished quality of life as they grow old. In these situations, it could become necessary to consider humane euthanasia to spare them pain and suffering. These are some things to think about during this difficult time, and we are here to help guide you during this process. Some signs that can help indicate if your dog is suffering include chronic pain that cannot be controlled with medication, frequent vomit/diarrhea, only eating with force feeding, incontinence with soiling, lost interest in favorite activities, cannot stand on own and chronic labored breathing/coughing. We understand this decision to say goodbye can be stressful, and often anxiety can be high if you do not know what to expect. We will fully explain the procedure and start only when you are ready.
Our partners at Resting Paws Pet Cremation can help you honor your pet by providing your family with the peaceful end-of-life experience your beloved pet deserves. Visit their website for more information.