What is a wellness exam?
Routine wellness exams are an important part of helping your pet live their longest and healthiest life. Routine wellness exams allow the veterinary care team to evaluate your pet’s general health and well-being on an ongoing basis. When we understand what “normal” means for your pet, we are better able to measure and monitor any changes that may occur as they move through the different stages of their life. Routine wellness exams help us detect medical problems at the earliest stages so that we can intervene sooner, helping to provide a better long-term outcome.
During your pet’s routine wellness exam, we also have the opportunity to discuss any questions, problems, or concerns you might have about your pet’s overall health and happiness at home. We will discuss important preventative medicine steps that you can take to help your pet stay happy and healthy for as long as possible.
What happens during a wellness exam?
During your pet’s routine wellness exam, we will weigh your pet and ask important questions about their home life, habits, and routines. We will perform a thorough physical exam and discuss any important vaccinations, medical screenings, or routine laboratory diagnostics that are recommended. We will answer any questions or concerns you might have come in with or that may come up during our exam. We will help you make decisions about which preventative medications are right for your pet and make any recommendations we have for you and your pet in the coming year.
Does my pet really need a wellness exam?
Yes! Routine wellness exams are a very important part of your pet’s medical care. Not only do they allow us to conduct appropriate preventative medicine, providing your pet with the longest, healthiest life possible, but they also allow us to identify diseases, illnesses, and problems that your pet cannot always express for themselves. Even the healthiest-looking pet can have an undetected illness.
Additionally, a yearly wellness exam serves to maintain the veterinary-client-patient relationship that is legally required for our practice to continue to dispense prescription foods and medications like heartworm preventatives and flea/tick control.
Should my pet have a wellness exam more than once a year?
The answer to that question depends on the stage of life your pet is in, as well as any chronic diseases that develop over time. For the majority of healthy pets, yearly routine wellness exams are appropriate during the young adult and mature adult stages of life. More frequent wellness exams are needed during the puppy/kitten stages in order to facilitate appropriate vaccination and monitor growth and development. More frequent wellness exams are also typically recommended during your pet’s senior years to help detect problems with your pet’s overall health and mobility as soon as possible.