We often hear clients say their pets have not been seen regularly by a veterinarian in several years because their pet has been healthy. However,preventative care can detect early signs of illness and address concerns before they become a costly problem. While vaccines and parasite control are primary reasons people bring their well pets to the veterinary clinic, there is great importance in the physical exam performed by the veterinarian. We have a number of doctors at CPH, each with their own style, and we encourage you to find one with which you can establish a trusting relationship.
The wellness exam includes the following:
• Nose to toes exam: Every major system gets a thorough evaluation by the doctor
• Oral exam to evaluate teeth and gums /dental disease
• Evaluation of weight and review diet and nutritional needs
• Discuss any behavioral concerns
• Vaccination status:Core vaccines need to be boostered; we can also discuss the need for non-core vaccines like canine influenza and bordetella
• Review of medical history and past problemsBi-annual Exams
: Because our pets age at a rate much faster than we do,we recommend more frequent physical exams in senior pets as well as pets with chronic illness. While 6 months may seem like a short span of time,in an animals life it is equivalent to 3 to 4 human years. By scheduling early detection exams every 6 months, we are able to better monitor the health ofyour elderly pets, and provide individualized healthcare that will enhance the quality of their lives during the golden years. There are many conditions anddiseases that are commonly seen in older cats and dogs, such asosteoarthritis, tumors, kidney disease, diabetes and thyroid dysfunction. When caught early, the veterinarians at CPH are better able to treat the condition or slow the progression of the disease.
During your pets annual exam, we will be discussing blood tests that provide us with important information about the state of your cat or dog’s health.Heartworm Testing
: We recommend heartworm testing every 2 years for dogs that are on heartworm prevention year round, and annually for pets that are only receiving it during peak mosquito months, or not at all. Regular testing ensures that in the event that your dog may have contracted heartworm disease, it is caught early and limits the risks and side effects associated with treatment of heartworms.Presurgical tests
: When your pet is scheduled to undergo an anesthetic procedure, we will recommend running blood work prior to surgery. Even in young, healthy animals, it is important to screen your pet to assess organ function, particularly the liver and kidneys as many anesthetic drugs are metabolized through these organs. If there are any abnormalities, yourdoctor may modify anesthetic protocols and medications to improve the outcome of the procedure.
If you pet is older than 7 years old, has a history of medical issues, or on medications, pre-anesthetic blood work will be required to reduce the riskof anesthetic reactions.Adult screening
: We recommend routine blood screens for healthy adult pets starting as young as 3 years of age. These diagnostics are used to establish baseline values for your cat or dog, which aid our veterinarians in determining what is normal for your pet and monitor trends before clinical signs arise.Geriatric screening
: Because older animals often develop metabolic diseases such as kidney failure, liver disease, infections, anemias and endocrine disorders, we will perform more comprehensive diagnostic screening for our senior pets that include full chemistry testing, complete blood counts, thyroid levels and urinalysis. These tests are recommended on an annual basis to help our veterinarians identify problems before problems become severe, and help extend the life and quality of your companions.