Regular wellness exams are essential to your pet’s overall health and wellbeing. These preventive checkups allow us to get to know you and your pet, and to establish a baseline for your pet’s health and temperament. We can then look for subtle illness signs in your pet that were not apparent at their previous screening, but now may be more obvious, and thus provide your pet with proactive and comprehensive veterinary care throughout their life. Our team at Boca Midtowne Animal Hospital doesn’t want you to wait until something is wrong to bring in your pet—rather, we want to take steps now to prevent health issues, so you can enjoy many years of your beloved pet’s companionship. Let’s see why every pet deserves regular wellness exams.
#1: Your pet can’t tell you what’s wrong
In the wild, showing pain or weakness leaves an animal vulnerable to predators, and this natural instinct remains in domesticated pets. Your pet could be suffering in silence, but regular wellness exams can ensure that any discomfort-causing conditions are resolved quickly. As a pet parent, you want to quickly resolve any condition that makes your pet uncomfortable, and regular wellness exams are the best way.
#2: Veterinarians need a baseline for your pet’s health
To provide the most tailored and comprehensive care for your pet throughout their life, your pet’s veterinarian needs to know them well. When your pet has regular wellness exams, your veterinarian sees them when they are feeling good, and can understand their normal.
- Temperament — If your dog is usually energetic and friendly and shows up to their exam lethargic and fearful, your veterinarian can look for underlying health conditions that could be causing their temperament change.
- Weight — Your veterinarian can track your pet’s weight over time during their wellness exams, and intervene if they become over- or underweight. Pet owners often do not notice when their pet gradually packs on a few pounds, but your veterinarian’s regular weigh-ins can alert you to any concerning fluctuations, and your veterinarian can provide feeding and exercise recommendations as needed.
- Chronic conditions — Pets with a chronic condition that requires regular medication need frequent veterinary visits to check blood work, adjust treatment, and manage their condition.
#3: Wellness exams can prevent disease
Early detection of many diseases allows your veterinarian to intervene quickly, improving your pet’s prognosis. Early detection reduces the severity of diseases such as kidney disease, arthritis, diabetes, dental disease, obesity, and ear infections. Some tests that can be performed at a regular wellness exam to help identify diseases early include:
- Heartworm testing — Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and can be serious if not treated. Annual testing ensures your veterinarian can catch the disease in its earliest stages when treatment is safer, and cardiovascular system damage is minimal.
- Blood work —Annual blood work provides important information about your pet’s health, and can reveal small changes to critical organs. Standard blood panels include:
- Complete blood cell count (CBC) — A CBC measures the number of red and white blood cells and platelets, and provides information about hydration, anemia, infection, blood clotting ability, and the immune system response.
- Blood chemistry profile – A blood chemistry profile measures kidney function, liver function, electrolyte levels, blood sugar levels, and more.
- Fecal parasite screening — A fecal exam can determine if your pet has intestinal parasites, such as hookworms or roundworms, or other infectious organisms.
#4: Prevention saves pet owners money
Not only do regular wellness examinations keep your pet at their healthiest, but they also reduce your veterinary costs over your pet’s lifetime. Preventive services, such as vaccinations and screening tests, can detect disease before more complicated—and expensive—treatments are necessary. For example, if kidney disease is caught early, a simple dietary change can keep your pet from needing fluids and hospitalization.
#5: Wellness exams give you more years with your pet
We all want our pets to live long, happy lives, and regular wellness exams and preventive measures can increase your pet’s comfort, longevity, and quality of life. For senior pets, wellness exams are more important, so conditions that become more prevalent as they age, such as arthritis, can be detected and treated. By addressing health conditions early, you will gain more valuable time with your precious pet.
Your pet’s health and wellbeing are important to us, and we strive to help provide them the best life possible. Contact our team at Boca Midtowne Animal Hospital to schedule your pet’s next wellness exam.