The Importance of Routine Wellness Exams for Pets
We all want our pets to be part of our lives for as long as possible, and the best way to ensure their longevity is through routinely scheduled wellness exams and preventive care. To help your pet avoid developing disease, ensure you routinely schedule their wellness exams, which—because pets age at a much quicker rate than humans—will become increasingly important to the early detection of health changes as they age. Learn how our Staples Mill Animal Hospital team supports your pet’s health by providing their wellness exams from the day you bring them home, and throughout their senior years.
Wellness exams for puppies and kittens
Ensure your new family member is off to a happy, healthy start by scheduling their first puppy or kitten wellness exam. The first year of your pet’s life is a critical developmental period, and the care and vaccinations they receive set the foundation for their long and happy life. During these early visits your veterinarian will become acquainted with your pet on a personal level, establish your pet’s health and temperament baseline, and create your pet’s custom health plan as they grow. Puppies and kittens should have three to four wellness exams between 8 and 16 weeks of age. Your puppy’s or kitten’s first-year care includes:
- Vaccinations — During their first year of life, your puppy’s and kitten’s immune systems are just developing, and we recommend they receive a series of properly staged vaccines. Because your puppy or kitten is unique, we tailor our vaccination recommendations based on their lifestyle, breed, and suggested medical guidelines.
- Diagnostic testing — We test puppies for heartworm disease, and kittens for feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
- Pet care planning — Our veterinary team is eager to answer your pet care questions, and open to discussing important topics such as spaying or neutering, parasite control, training, and nutrition.
Wellness exams for adult pets
Regular wellness exams continue to play an important role in your pet’s health as they age. In addition, keep in mind that, although your pet is not displaying distress signs, you should not assume they are healthy. Pets often mask their issues and frequently do not exhibit disease signs until their condition is advanced. When our veterinary team sees your adult pet during their annual wellness exam, we can detect subtle illness signs, and provide your pet with proactive, comprehensive veterinary care. At your adult pet’s wellness exam, our veterinary team performs a nose-to-tail assessment that includes:
- Examining your pet’s teeth, throat, and oral cavity
- Checking your pet’s vision and examining their eyes
- Examining their ears for infection, ear mites, allergic reactions, and other related health issues
- Examining your pet’s respiratory system
- Assessing your pet’s heart
- Testing your pet’s reflexes
- Palpitating your pet’s lymph nodes and abdomen
- Inspecting their skin for abnormalities
- Assessing your pet’s body condition, and discussing activity level and appetite
- Palpitating their joints and muscles for arthritis and other orthopedic conditions
- Screening your pet for intestinal parasites, heartworm disease, and tick-borne diseases
- Completing blood work to establish your pet’s baseline readings should they become ill between wellness visits.
Wellness exams for senior pets
Your pet’s aging is unique, and varies by breed and size, but by 7 years of age, most pets are considered seniors, and prioritizing their wellness, monitoring their health, and ensuring they maintain a great quality of life is more important than ever. To help your pet avoid common diseases, or to detect disease at an early and easily treatable stage, our veterinary team tailors your pet’s twice yearly preventive care to their age, breed, lifestyle, and other factors. As your pet’s age increases, so does their risk for many life-threatening conditions, including:
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Endocrine disorders
- Cognitive dysfunction
Our veterinary team is here to help you navigate your pet’s senior years, and we are always ready to discuss your pet’s activity level, living conditions, daily nutrition, and regular veterinary care to prolong their health and vitality.
Our Staples Mill Animal Hospital team wants you to enjoy many happy years and adventures with your pet. It takes a village to ensure your pet lives a long, healthy life, and we are honored to join them on their journey. Contact us to discuss your pet’s lifelong health care, and to schedule their next wellness exam.