Pet owners want their animals to have healthy, happy, and long lives. The annual physical exam is the foundation of a well care program that helps to ensure your pet's health. The annual exam helps our doctors establish an ongoing relationship with your pet and to make baseline observations as your pet grows and matures. Additionally, early detection of problems noted during the annual physical can help to ensure prompt action and may prevent more serious consequences. Our technicians and your veterinarians will examine your pet thoroughly and make recommendations for any necessary vaccinations or medical treatment.
The annual physical exam includes assessment of the following areas:
History: The pet care team will ask you questions about your pet's health history, diet, behavior, and any concerns that you might have. Your pet's weight, temperature, and any other important information will be recorded in his or her permanent chart.
Physical examination: Your veterinarian will check your pet's nose, ears, mouth, eyes, and skin to note general characteristics as well as any changes or abnormalities that may be present. Your veterinarian will also listen to your pet's heart and lungs with a stethoscope to ensure that they are functioning well. She or he will use hands and fingers to touch your pet and check the abdomen, joints, muscles, lymph nodes, and skin. He or she will also check your pet's reproductive system. We recommend spaying or neutering your pet at six months of age. These surgical procedures are done under general anesthetic, and your pet will go home on the same day.
Laboratory work: Annual screening for heartworm disease, Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis requires just a few drops of blood, and can be quickly done at the annual physical exam. An annual fecal exam to screen for internal parasites is also recommended, and can be easily done at the annual exam as well when the client provides a fecal sample. Geriatric pets or pets with certain physical disorders may benefit from annual blood chemistry profiles as well to track their health.
Vaccinations: Regular vaccinations help ensure your pet's health as well as the health of the pet population, and prevent many life-threatening diseases. Your veterinarian will make specific recommendations for a life-long regular vaccination program for your pet based on his or her individual needs. Please discuss any concerns you may have regarding your pet's exposure to these diseases with your veterinarian.