Providing proper nutrition, exercise, parasite control, vaccinations and at home dental care help your pet lead a healthy life.
When it comes to illness and injury, many pets will hide that they have a problem until it becomes too advanced. In nature showing weakness is dangerous.
This makes us rely on observation to determine if our pet is doing well. This makes what we don’t know possibly hurt them.
Regular wellness exams are very important. In a young pet it may detect a cleft palate, umbilical hernia or heart defect. A small mass may be a life threatening melanoma. An older pet unable to easily climb stairs may have arthritis or it may be serious heart disease.
Early detection greatly increases the odds of successful treatment and can significantly decrease the cost of treatment as well.
So, how often should a pet come in for an examination?
After their initial vaccinations are completed, pets can come in once a year for a wellness check. This is frequently done with other needs such as vaccinations and parasite control. Once they hit middle age blood and urine testing lets us evaluate organ function to see if a problem exists before the owner notices something is wrong. For giant breed dogs this starts at age 5, others age 7-8. Since they age much more rapidly than we do elderly cats and dogs benefit from an exam every 6 months.