Pets age faster than humans. Because their lives progress more quickly, serious medical conditions do, too. Annual pet wellness exams can help detect serious medical conditions early and allow our doctors to treat them before they become severe, unmanageable or deadly. In seeing your veterinarian annually, you have the opportunity to discuss your pet’s future health outlook, and ask questions about any existing conditions. For many patients, especially older pets and those with chronic health problems, we recommend twice yearly exams.
Prior to your pet’s wellness exam, note any changes that have occurred with your pet since we saw you last. This may include obvious signs, such as vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, weight gain/loss, excessive thirst, or behavior changes. At your pet's visit we will also ask about things you may not be as aware of, such as subtle changes in mobility or habits that might indicate joint pain, cognitive decline or anxiety. We encourage you to fill out a Pet Wellness Report questionnaire or a senior questionnaire prior to your visit. This will help us to zero in on the issues most important to your pet's health.
During your pet's wellness exam visit we will:
Get a complete history from you about your pet's diet, exercise routine, behavior and health
Perform a full body physical exam
Perform a dental exam and evaluation
Administer any vaccinations your pet needs
Do heartworm and tick-borne disease testing in dogs, and intestinal parasite screening for both dogs and cats
Perform appropriate testing for any diseases your pet has risk for, which may include blood testing, blood pressure measurement, urine and stool testing, eye testing and heart screening
Perform appropriate testing to monitor any diseases your pet already has, as well as to check for medication side effects if he or she is on long-term medication
Do a nutrition and weight evaluation
Develop a risk assessment evaluation and a Healthy Steps plan for addressing anything we find that could adversely affect your pet's health
Teach you about some aspect of pet health care - there is always something new or interesting to learn about! If you are a new client, you will receive a pet care binder with all sorts of good information, and we will add to it at every visit.
At Best Friends Veterinary Center we offer Health Care Plans that let you spread the cost of your pet's visit over a full year, making wellness care and testing more affordable.
Puppy and kitten exams
We want to see your new puppy or kitten within a few days of bringing him or her home. Virtually all young animals have intestinal parasites that we need to treat for, so bring a stool sample along to your first visit. We also need to get your new friend on a parasite prevention program. Vaccinations will likely be needed - even if the breeder or shelter started your young pet on its vaccines often additional immunizations are needed. In addition to the items listed above, we will talk with you about behavior, training, socialization and other aspects of care, and you will go home with a binder full of written information. We will add additional age-appropriate information at every subsequent visit. We want you to be the expert when it comes to your pet's health!
Senior pet exams
Senior pets require more care than their youthful counterparts. Because older pets are more susceptible to age-related illnesses, it is recommended that elderly pets receive a wellness exam twice each year, with complete lab work performed at least once per year. During senior pet exams, our doctors take your pet’s vital statistics and perform a complete head-to-tail exam of internal organs and joints, assessing any abnormalities or pain your pet might be exhibiting. Our goal is to maximize your pet's "healthspan." It's not just about how long a pet lives, it's how long he or she is happy, healthy, active and comfortable.
To schedule your pet’s wellness exam, contact our office today!