Many humans still believe that one human year is equal to seven animal years. That is not very accurate, since dogs and cats reach adulthood within the first couple of years. Other factors such as breed, nutrition, health, living conditions, and activity level all play an important role in the age of your pet. We have several broad goals in seeing your pet for a wellness examination:
• To do a physical exam to detect signs of illness before they become severe. Some of the most common things your veterinarian looks for include underlying ear and eye disease, skin lumps and hair coat abnormalities, dental tarter and gingivitis, body conditioning (overweight or underweight), heart murmurs, arrhythmias, abnormal chest sounds, lymph node enlargements, abdominal organ enlargements, and skeletal diseases such as arthritis.
• To provide diagnostics and treatments that promotes wellness. Examples of diagnostics include heartworm/lyme/ehrlichia testing in dogs, leukemia/AIDS testing in cats, fecal parasite detection and baseline blood and urine testing in both cats and dogs. Examples of treatments include vaccinations, dewormings, heartworm and flea/tick prevention, dental care, and diets/supplements.
• To educate and guide you in developing habits to promote wellness in your pet. This may be our most important role: To pass along to you the most recent knowledge and medical advances that can help your pet lead a long and healthy life. The amount of material we need to cover during a routine annual exam can seem overwhelming. So please hold onto your seat because it is information you need to know in other to make educated decisions regarding your pet’s well-being. You can “slow the clock” and promote healthy, long lives for your pet by having your pet examined every six months for a wellness check and vaccinations.