Feb 11 2019

The Importance of Physical Exams for your Pet

Vets in North York

We all realize the importance of having a check-up for ourselves for the early detection of diseases, timely treatments and overall better health. But did you know that just like human beings, pets too can get identical benefits from a regular wellness examination? 

Unfortunately, according to a recent study conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), some startling statistics have indicated that visits to veterinarians are gradually declining. The same research also showed that the instances of preventable diseases among pets were on the rise. This alarming pattern has resulted in several vets in propagating the importance of regular check-ups among pet owners. 

The value of preventive care and early intervention in human medicine has been well-established and accepted by the general public. Biannual dental cleanings, annual check-ups, bloodwork, bone density tests, yearly eye exams and mammograms are just some of the preventative services that people receive to stay healthy and prevent future health problems.

The frequency of wellness examinations

As a pet owner, you may be wondering how much is too much or too little when it comes to deciding the rate of wellness examinations. It depends on the breed and size of your pooch. Generally, an average pet ages about five to seven years for an equivalent human year. This means that the health of a 7-year-old terrier, for example, can be compared to the health of a 35-year-old human.

As your pet’s lifespan is quite short, it is important that they receive the necessary care and attention at least once a year or twice per year if they are above nine years of age.

Wellness exam – what to expect?

Just like a human being, a pet’s examination also begins with a detailed history of the pet’s lifestyle. The vet then checks your pet’s body temperature, pulse, body weight and respiration rates. The next step includes a complete head-to-tail exam. In addition, their vital organs like eyes, ears, mouth, lymph nodes, heart, lungs, abdomen and musculoskeletal system are checked, and parameters are recorded. Based on these parameters and readings, a vet then makes detailed recommendations for your pet’s health. These could include a variety of things like dental visits, nutritional advice, some behavioural advice or even pain management. Vets may also advise vaccinations if needed. 

Other important examinations like annual heartworm testing and intestinal parasite screenings are also performed to eliminate the possibility of zoonotic diseases. Ultimately, based on the physical examination and lab reports (if performed), your vet may also recommend a specific diet or wellness practices for your pet. 

Why is a wellness examination must for my pet

Your pets are like your family members. Pet owners often complain that their pets did not show any symptoms of distress even at the onset of serious health conditions. A routine wellness examination can help prevent diseases such as obesity, ear infections and dental disease, which can be managed easily. In addition, early detection of arthritis, diabetes and kidney disease is also possible with proper pet wellness examination. 

Overall, routine wellness exams equal to early detection and prevention of many big and small health issues for your pets and ensure a healthy and long life span. If you are keen to get a wellness exam conducted for your pet, talk to our vets at Don Valley Animal Hospital. We can guide you through scheduling a wellness exam appointment and also answer any related questions or concerns that you may have.

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