A wellness examination, also known as a physical or check-up, is necessary to ensure that a patient is healthy and in optimal health.
For dogs, wellness exams are recommended once a month for puppies, annually for adults, and semi-annually for middle-aged dogs and older. This is because our furry friends age faster than we do. For the best recommendation of when your pet should be seen by a veterinarian, contact Wags Animal Hospital to see how often your pet needs a wellness exam.
What Will My Veterinarian Check?
During a wellness exam, your veterinarian will ask about your pet’s behavioral habits, diet and exercise patterns, and general health. Your vet will observe and inspect:
- How your pet walks and stands
- General body condition and weight
- Coat / skin
- Eyes, ears, nose and face
- Mouth and teeth
Additionally, the vet will listen to the heart and lungs and check your pet’s pulse, lymph nodes, abdomen, and limbs. To check for parasites, your vet may also ask for a fresh sample of your pet’s feces or bowel movement.
Lastly, your vet will recommend an appropriate wellness screening test. The main types of wellness screening tests are:
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Biochemistry profile
- Heartworm disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Lyme disease testing
- X-rays (usually for older dogs)
These types of screenings can detect disease or illness early on to prevent future health problems and give your pet the best treatment possible.