Wellness exams for pets are much more complicated than you would normally think. First a thorough history is taken so that any and all changes in your pet's health, diet or behavior can be addressed. Then the doctor does a thorough examination of your pet. The doctor checks for bad breath, head scratching or shaking, odor from the ears, coughing and sneezing. The eyes are checked for drainage and/or redness and swelling. The retinas (back of the eye) are also examined. The animal's skin is checked for lumps, hair loss, scratching and chewing. The pet is also checked for lameness or stiffness and if it has an exercise intolerance or trouble rising. The doctor also asks if there have been any behavior changes in your pet. After the examination your pet will be updated on any vaccines needed to maintain maximum health benefits.
A lot of people do not think of the importance of regularly scheduled wellness exams for their pets. You may wonder why your pet should see a veterinarian every 6 months. Because your pet can not tell you in words how he/she is feeling, the veterinarian must rely on a physical examination to see if there are any problems. Your veterinarian may recommend further diagnostic tests, such as x-rays, bloodwork or a urinalysis, based on the examination.
Your pet ages more quickly than you and his/her health can change in such a short amount of time. Just like people, pets need more frequent attention as they get older to prevent and treat illnesses with old age. The risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, heart disease and other serious conditions all increase with age. Twice-a-year wellness exams can help your veterinarian diagnose, treat or even prevent problems before they become life-threatening. And, in the long run, it will save you money.
So please, for your pet's sake, bring them in for regularly scheduled wellness exams and help them live a longer, healthier life.