If you're like most pet owners, you consider your pet's health to be just as important as your own. You also know that taking good care of these special members of your family requires more than just an annual examination and vaccines. Because pets age faster than humans do, potential illnesses many the same ones that afflict people (like heart disease and kidney disease) can sneak up on our pets before we're ready to expect them. The average dog or cat reaches "middle age" at approximately 4 years old. And, unlike the rest of our family, our pets cannot tell us about the symptoms they're experiencing that may be the indications of oncoming illness. We often have to look past the surface to to fully understand our pet's health. Taking good care of our pets is as much about preventing illness as it is about treating it. Imagine having only been to the doctor four times by the time you're 40 years old and you'll begin to understand the importance of pet wellness.
You are one of the most important sources of information regarding your pet's health. Because you're with your pet every day, you are the first to notice when his routine changes. Your visit to our hospital for a wellness exam will first include a consultation, during which you can report anything new or unusual. Next, we'll conduct a physical exam, where we'll check your pet's major systems including heart, lungs, skin and teeth for potential problems. We'll discuss your options for preventive care, which can include parasite control, routine dental cleanings, nutrition. Finally, we'll screen for hidden issues with a wellness profile; tests of your pet's blood, stool, and urine that will let us know if there are any problems that have yet to show symptoms.
A wellness exam when your pet is young gives us a health baseline. Studies show that between 10 and 15 percent of pets that seemed healthy by physical exam alone have underlying problems that their veterinarian could detect by doing further testing. When you pet receives regular wellness exams over his lifetime, it helps us to find and intercept potential health problems before they have a chance to threaten your pet's well being. Many common diseases in pets, including obesity, diabetes, and kidney disease, are easily treatable or manageable if they are caught early enough. These simple preventive measures can considerably increase your pet's quality of life and the amount of time you get to spend together.