Annual Wellness Visits for Cats and Dogs
Just like humans should receive an annual physical from their doctor, so should cats and dogs! At Independence Veterinary Clinic, we recommend annual and semi-annual (2x a year) wellness exams for our patients depending on your pet’s age and needs. During this wellness visit, your pet will receive a comprehensive physical exam from nose to tail to check for any abnormalities and discuss any concerns you may have.
Wellness exams are the best way to prevent disease and catch abnormalities in their early stages. During your pet’s exam, your veterinarian will ask a number of questions about your pet’s diet, exercise, thirst, breathing, habits, bowel movements and urination patterns, lifestyle, and general health. This is a great opportunity to discuss anything out of the ordinary you’ve noticed about your pet. When your vet begins to examine your pet, he or she will perform a number of physical inspections/observations, including:
- How your pet walks/stands
- General body condition
- Muscle condition
- Mouth and teeth
Your vet will also listen to your pet’s heart and lungs, and feel the lymph nodes, abdomen and legs to check for abnormalities. It’s also beneficial to bring a fresh stool sample to your pet’s wellness visit so your vet can check for parasites. Wellness exams are a great time to make sure your pet is up to date on all preventative treatments and vaccinations. If your pet is due, your vet will include these as part of the exam.
It’s normal to be unsure of how often to bring your pet for a wellness exam. In general as pets age, they should receive exams more often. The same can be said for pets that struggle with health issues. The more often they are seen, the easier it is to stay on top of health concerns and treatments. Your vet will work with you to help determine how often your pet should come in based on its age, health, and lifestyle.