During every visit to the vet, one of our licensed Veterinary Technicians, or skilled Veterinary Assistants will measure your pet’s weight, temperature, pulse rate, and respiration rate. They will then ask questions about what kind of food they eat, what medications they are on, and whether or not your pet lives indoors only, or goes outside on a regular basis.
The Veterinarian will then perform a full physical exam. This includes an oral exam, listening to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope, examining the eyes, looking in the ears, feeling lymph nodes and organs within the abdomen, and assessing them for any pain. Please let the veterinarian know of any specific concerns you might have about your pet’s health.
Next, the veterinarian will review your pet’s medical records to determine what diagnostic testing is needed based on your pet’s age, lifestyle, and overall health.
These may include a fecal exam, most adult dogs and cats should have a fecal examination at least once a year to check for intestinal parasites. If you bring in a fecal sample, we can send it out to the lab for testing.
Bloodwork and urinalysis are common tests when pets reach their senior years. Running a panel of laboratory tests will screen for diseases that become more common in old age. It is recommended to do a complete blood cell count, a blood chemistry panel, a urinalysis, and thyroid testing (for cats) at least once a year. Finally, the veterinarian will talk to you about what type of preventive care your pet needs. At every wellness visit, they will assess the need for any new vaccinations or boosters. Core vaccines are ones that every pet should have. Non-core vaccines will be based on factors such as the pet’s age, health, and lifestyle.
Since both dogs and cats are at varying degrees of risk for fleas, ticks, heartworms, intestinal and other parasites, your veterinarian can put together an appropriate parasite prevention plan based on your pet’s age, where they live, and other factors of exposure.