Wellness Care/Physical Exam

Wellness exams are an integral part of preventive medicine. The goal of preventive medicine is to diagnose and treat health problems before they can become serious. Due to the advances in veterinary medicine, many diseases that were once devastating to a pet’s health are now treatable. Diseases that are found and treated early can often be resolved or managed so that your pets can live happy, healthy lives.

In the most general terms, dogs and cats should be seen for a wellness exam at least once a year and at least twice yearly if your pet is considered a “senior” pet, ages 7 and older. Your veterinarian may recommend more frequent wellness exams based on your pet’s age, breed, health, activity and existing illnesses.

Puppies and kittens often need a series of vaccinations when they are young to help them obtain resistance from diseases. Most puppies and kittens will visit the veterinarian several times early in life for these vaccines. When you bring your puppy or kitten in for wellness visits, it is also a good time to talk about spaying and/or neutering your pet. In addition, microchipping your pet while it is here for spay/neuter surgery helps eliminate discomfort or additional stress for your pet.

A wellness exam allows your veterinarian to assess your pet’s health and to become aware of any issues that may exist. A comprehensive examination will include a check of all body systems. Vaccines will be given if they are due and if age and health status make this an appropriate time, and a fecal and heartworm analysis may be performed. Your veterinarian may also want to perform diagnostic tests to best evaluate your pet’s health.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has issued vaccine guidelines to assist veterinarians in making the best vaccine choice for your pet. Vaccinations are not only safe and effective, they are an important and fundamental piece of your pet’s preventative healthcare plan. Advances in veterinary immunology have made diseases that once were relatively common and fatal to pets easily preventable.

Additionally, with each passing year, veterinary science is improving on existent vaccines as well as increasing our ability to prevent an even wider array of contagious diseases.

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