Your Pet’s Annual Physical Exam
Is it that time of year again? Your pet’s annual physical exam is due! Is it really that important that your pet come to the veterinarian every year?
It is extremely important for your pet to have a physical exam at least once a year. Regular wellness exams allow your veterinarian to evaluate your pet’s general health and become aware of any health problems before they become serious illnesses. Since your pet cannot tell you if he/she does not feel well, you must rely on the veterinarian’s physical exam and interpretation of lifestyle and potential behavioral changes at home. Senior pets should have an exam every six months. Remember for every one human year, your pet roughly ages seven years and many changes can occur during this interval. Annual blood work is also recommended to evaluate the internal organ functions that the doctor cannot physically see.
You may be asked a series of questions about your pet’s daily behavior, his/her diet, how much water he/she drinks, his/her exercise routine, as well as any subtle changes in behavior or routine. This will help the doctor get a feel for what is going on at home. Other questions that may be asked are: Is your pet on any medications? Has your pet routinely been on heartworm and flea prevention? Has your pet had any changes in mobility?
On a thorough exam the doctor will carefully evaluate all aspects of your pet.
• Vital signs (temperature, heart rate and character, respiratory rate and character)
• Mouth and teeth
• Heart and lungs
• Internal organs
• Lymph nodes
• Skin and hair coat
• Joints and extremities
• Muscle mass changes
Your pet may or may not receive every vaccination at their annual visit. Some vaccinations are now offered in a 3 year schedule, but some still need to be boostered yearly to be effective. Your pet’s vaccination schedule will be determined by his/her lifestyle and risk status.
Veterinary Medicine & Surgery looks forward to seeing you and your pet at their next annual physical exam!!!