A Window to Your Pet’s Body: The Value of Pet Wellness Exams
How amazing would it be to be able to peer right into your pet’s body? You know, to get a really good assessment of how things are going internally?
Well, science isn’t quite there yet, but Dickinson Animal Hospital & Pet Wellness Center has the scoop on the next best thing. Did you know that routine pet wellness examinations can give us a wealth of information about your pet’s overall health and wellbeing? They may not exactly be a window into your companion’s body, but regular pet wellness care has just as much value.
All About Pet Wellness
We are always happy to help when your pet has a problem or becomes ill, but whenever possible our doctors like to take a more proactive approach. There’s a reason we added Pet Wellness Center to our name. We believe it is an integral part of your pet’s care.
Good day-to-day habits and care can prevent a wide variety of pet health issues, from nutritional deficiencies to behavioral problems to weight-related diseases. When we see your pet more often, we have more opportunities to discuss your questions and concerns related to these types of problems. We can also make recommendations that your pet may benefit from.
Pet wellness visits also allow us to perform screening type testing. Routine physical examinations, blood and urine testing, parasite screens, and other proactive tests can help us to identify problems before they become even bigger problems. They also allow us to get to know your pet as an individual, which increases our sensitivity when it comes to identifying a possible problem.
What We Do
When a pet comes in for a preventative health visit, many things are accomplished. At these annual to bi-annual appointments (the latter recommended for senior pets), pets receive:
Complete physical examination — Each pet who visits us will receive a thorough nose-to-tail examination involving all body systems. We will also document a thorough medical history to add to their record. Any pain will be assessed and your pet’s dental health scored. Any skin issues or lumps and bumps will be evaluated and documented as well.
Nutritional assessment – A dietary history and body condition score will be assigned and recommended changes discussed for your pet’s ultimate health.
Blood and urine testing – Screening blood and urine tests allow us to gain so much more information about your pet’s internal functions. Blood testing can allow us to evaluate things like liver problems, diabetes, thyroid issues, kidney disease, and conditions affecting the red and white blood cells. A urine sample collected via ultrasound-guided cystocentesis (in which a needle is accurately introduced into the urinary bladder to obtain a sterile sample) is an effective way to screen for low grade urinary tract infections as well as to further evaluate the kidneys. Many pets do show signs of distress on our routine blood tests until about 75% of their kidney function is lost.
Complimentary nail trim and anal gland expression – These important grooming-related maintenance tasks are important to help keep your pet functioning and feeling great. Additionally, too full anal glands can be responsible for a stinky pet!
A game plan – Perhaps the most valuable part of a pet wellness visit is the opportunity to come together with an individualized care plan that fits you and your pet’s needs where we can answer all of your questions. Be it a follow up test, a parasite screen, a dental exam and cleaning, or a scheduled weigh-in, these recommendations are specific things that we think that your pet could benefit from.
We love seeing you and your pets when they are healthy! We know that the more we can do to prevent problems and identify them early, the better your furry friend is likely to do. After all, isn’t that what we all want?
If you haven’t brought your pet in to see us for a wellness visit, or if you have any questions, please contact us. We also offer our Pampered Pet Program to help make wellness needs more affordable. Together we can help your pet live their best life!