We prefer to see your pet at least once a year, and twice for older pets. Often times, people ask why it’s so important that we see your pet for an annual exam. Today, we have some answers for you! First, let’s talk about our life stage wellness exams. Through all phases of your pet’s life, we’ll be there. This starts during their adolescent years where we’ll put a good plan in place for a lifetime of care. During their adult years, we recommend at least one wellness exam per year to make sure that everything is great with their health and they’re on a good preventative care plan. As seniors, we’ll put together a care plan that will help extend their life and help them feel their absolute best.
What are we looking for? Here are a few things:
- Heartworm test — When a dog or cat (even an indoor-only cat) is bitten by a mosquito carrying heartworm disease, the heartworm larvae are passed into the animal’s body, where they begin traveling through the bloodstream until they reach the heart and lungs. They stay there and mature into adult heartworms, a process that takes about six months.
There are few, if any, early signs of heartworm disease, so an annual heartworm test is important. The earlier heartworm is diagnosed, the better your pet’s chances of recovery.
- Fecal analysis — Providing a fresh stool sample at your pet’s next exam will help us to identify internal parasites that can cause severe gastrointestinal problems, including:
If we detect evidence of these parasites in your pet’s stool, we’ll prescribe medication to treat them quickly.
- Blood test — We typically recommend annual blood testing for senior pets to screen for common age-related health conditions. We’ll also conduct blood tests before your pet is placed under anesthesia for a procedure. A basic blood test can tell us:
- Complete blood count — This test reveals anemia, dehydration, infection, and more.
- Liver function — Devastating diseases, like hepatitis and cirrhosis, can be detected with this test.
- Kidney function — Kidney failure is a common cause of death in dogs and cats, and the disease doesn’t cause external signs until the kidneys are beyond repair and treatment is no longer helpful. Detecting the disease early can add years to your pet’s life.
- Blood glucose — This test tells us if your pet has developed diabetes.
If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment for your pet, please be sure to contact us today!