Pet Wellness Exams
Monitor Your Pet’s Health with Wellness Visits
Waterway Animal Hospital strives to help your pet feel and look their best at every stage of life. One of the most important ways we monitor your pet’s health is through wellness exams. These appointments allow our team to keep up with your pet throughout their life and enable us to create a health baseline for them.
We offer a complete nose-to-tail exam during each dog and cat wellness appointment to ensure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations and preventive treatments. Schedule an appointment with our team today to help your pet feel their best!
Why Are Wellness Exams Important for My Pet?
Many pet owners know a wellness exam is an essential step in bringing a new puppy or kitten home. This initial visit creates a health baseline, and your veterinarian can provide the proper vaccinations and discuss spay and neutering. Throughout their life, changes in your pet’s behavior, such as limping or a decrease in energy or appetite, require vet attention.
Some pet owners are skeptical about bringing their pets in for wellness exams — especially when their pet is perfectly healthy. However, wellness exams are a central aspect of your pet’s well-being, much like regular checkups for humans.
How Often Should I Take My Pet for a Wellness Exam?
Even if your pet is completely healthy or has had limited health issues throughout their life, it’s essential to take advantage of wellness visits. Scheduling regular appointments is crucial in maintaining your pet’s health and positively impacts your pet’s longevity. Generally, a healthy pet should visit a veterinarian for a full checkup once a year after turning one year old. Your dog or cat’s annual exam is an excellent time to discuss their growth, nutrition, predisposition for genetic conditions and other nonurgent concerns.
A wellness exam is not an emergency visit — the best time to schedule one is when your pet appears perfectly healthy. A regular schedule ensures your veterinarian can focus on overall health and preventive medicine rather than treating immediate concerns. By monitoring your dog’s health, it is easier for our team to detect more minor changes, which may signify the onset of disease or existing condition deterioration.
What an Annual Dog or Cat Exam Covers
Our Little River team follows all American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) regulations.
We check vital signs and other baseline information, such as weight, heart and respiratory rates and temperature. We will also examine their mouth, nose, eyes, skin and coat and look for any joint or limb issues. A thorough wellness exam will cover the following aspects of your pet’s health.
Establishing a Nutritious Diet and Healthy Body Weight
While the right diet can help your pet have a healthier life, knowing where to start can be challenging. During your dog or cat’s wellness exam, you can use this time to discuss the best options for your pet’s age, breed, lifestyle and any intolerances or sensitivities. Considering your pet’s lifestyle and current diet, our team can recommend high-quality foods for a balanced diet.
Your pet’s annual visit is the best time to discuss any concerns about their nutrition and body weight, such as whether they are under- or overweight. Our team will confirm how much your dog or cat weighs and help you develop a plan to keep them at a healthy weight.
Using Blood Work, Diagnostics for Preventive Medicine
While physical exams are an essential part of these visits, lab work is necessary to gain insight into your pet’s internal health. Lab work can detect diseases and illnesses that may not appear on a physical exam, such as heartworm disease, abnormal blood cell counts, blood sugar levels, and the functions of essential organs like the liver, kidneys, and thyroid.
Dogs, cats and other pets are vulnerable to fleas, ticks and heartworm, making it essential to keep your pet free from as many parasites as possible. Lab work can alert you to these parasites, and our team can establish a plan to treat the parasites and prevent your pet from hosting more.
Keeping Up With Dental Health and Vaccinations
It’s easy to forget about medical care like dental health and vaccinations, but these facets of your pet’s health are crucial.
Dental diseases can be painful, cause other conditions and leave your pet vulnerable to infections. During a wellness exam, our team will monitor your pet’s dental health, provide recommendations for at-home care and schedule cleanings to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Vaccines prevent many common diseases, and a thorough wellness visit should include a discussion about which vaccines are best for your pet. Vital vaccines for dogs include rabies and distemper or parvovirus. Cats should receive rabies, upper respiratory disease and feline leukemia vaccines.
How Wellness Exams Change Throughout a Pet’s Life
Since a wellness exam cares for your pet at every stage of life, it should vary depending on your pet’s age.
During a puppy or kitten wellness check, our team will ensure your pet has the appropriate vaccinations, such as rabies and distemper. Most puppies and kittens also have roundworms, which can affect your pet’s health and spread to humans. We can create a plan to deworm your pet and prevent them from picking up more parasites.
If you have any concerns about your puppy or kitten’s development, their annual appointment is the best time to discuss their growth. Most spayed and neutered pets undergo these procedures early, so your veterinarian will likely discuss these options with you during the first wellness exam.
Our pets age faster than we do, so we offer cat and dog exams for senior pets that focus on helping our team deliver the most effective care. Diagnosing age-related issues that affect your senior pet’s quality of life can help us improve their quality of life and extend the happy years you have with them. Often, aging dogs and cats require more frequent wellness exams to keep them in the best health possible.
Schedule Your Pet’s Wellness Exam at Waterway Animal Hospital Today
Give your pet the love and care they deserve by scheduling a wellness exam at Waterway Animal Hospital today. We are one of the top dog and cat wellness exam providers near Little River, and we pride ourselves on going above and beyond when caring for pets of all ages. Call us today at 843-663-4500 to learn more or schedule an appointment for your pet.