PREVENTIVE HEALTH EXAM

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puppy and kitten island veterinary hospital Richmond

PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE AND PET WELLNESS EXAMS

This is the cornerstone of a health care program for your pet. As humans, we are told we should go to the doctor every year. Well it is the same for your pet. And your pet often won’t tell you when something may be wrong. It is in their genetics to hide it from us.

Even more important is that your pet ages so much faster then you do. By the time they are 8 years old, they are generally considered seniors. At that point, we recommend that we see them every 6 months.

Our appointments are 30 minutes long and the veterinarian will examine all areas of the body, including the mouth, ears and eyes. They will then palpate (touch) the abdomen, joints, limbs etc to feel for any abnormalities. The doctor will always listen to the heart and lungs. Don’t forget to discuss any changes in behavior: it is so important because remember, pets are excellent at hiding health issues from us.

We will always ask you to bring in a stool sample from your pet (the size of a walnut) to check for intestinal parasites and other intestinal problems. Nobody wants to talk about parasites such as roundworms or hookworms but we have to because it is a real problem for a lot of pets that come through our doors. And it not only effects their health but can have a significant impact on your health too.

The preventive health exam is time and money well spent and goes a long long way to help ensure your pet lives a happy, healthy life for a long time.

Preventive Health Exam – Frequently Asked Questions

Pet exams are an essential part of your pet’s preventative healthcare. All pets, from the very young to the very old, can benefit from wellness exams with the vet. Below are some of the commonly asked questions that pet owners ask us about Preventive Health exam for their animal friends.

How often does my pet need a preventive health exam?

Well, it depends on their age. Pets age pretty fast in human years, so having a preventive health exam done once a year is ideal for the first several years of their life. After they turn 7 or 8, and depending on their lifestyle and breed, we recommend preventive health exams every 6 months.

What happens during a preventive health exam?

Our appointments are 30 minutes long. The veterinarian will examine all areas of the body, including the mouth, ears and eyes. She will then palpate (touch) the abdomen, joints, limbs etc to feel for any abnormalities. The veterinarian will always listen to the heart and lungs. Any concerns regarding the pet’s health will be addressed.

What other things might be offered during a preventive health exam?

Depending on the age and health status of your pet, the veterinarian may suggest taking a blood sample, a urine sample or running other tests. We make it even easier by offering Comprehensive Wellness Plans that pass on savings/payment plans and free office visits throughout the year to encourage you quickly address any issues that might come up.

What are some common problems found during a preventive health exam?

We routinely find dental problems that owners were completely unaware of. These should be addressed quickly to prevent pain and the loss of teeth. Dental disease is the most common problem we see in dogs and cats, even in the 2-6 years of age group, and is a major contributor to many other health problems; including kidney, heart, liver disease and arthritis to name a few.

We also frequently find various types of heart disease, usually in more mature animals. Most of these pets are not yet showing any signs of disease. If we initiate treatment before they are showing signs of heart failure, we will be able to help them live even longer than if we’d waited until they showed even the earliest signs of failure.

Why do you ask for stool samples when I come in for my preventive health exam?

Roughly 1 in 8 dogs in our area is carrying a Roundworm, Hookworm, or Whipworm. If the pet is not being de-wormed monthly, then we need to make sure that he/she doesn’t have a parasite. Even if the pet is on a monthly de-wormer, it is important to check for parasites to make sure the medication is working and to look for other parasites not controlled by the medication. Parasite control is a no brainer as many can easily be transmitted to humans.

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