Pet wellness exams are routine veterinary examinations to ensure pets are healthy and disease-free. Similar to a human checkup, a dog care plan or cat wellness program is vital to detecting illnesses in their earliest stages so that your vet can begin treatment immediately. How often you should take your pet for a wellness exam depends the animal’s age and health status. Your Bluestar Pet Hospital & Grooming veterinarian in St. Johns & Jacksonville, FL is happy to recommend an appropriate wellness exam schedule for your pet. Our team is passionate about keeping healthy pets in the St Johns, Fruit Cove, Bartram Park, St Augustine, Durbin Crossing, Julington Creek Plantation, and Jacksonville, Southside, Baymeadows and Deerwood area feeling their best.
What does a veterinarian check during a cat or dog pet exam?
Before beginning the exam, your vet asks about your pet’s lifestyle, diet, behavior, and level of physical activity. Vets are also interested in what kind of parasite prevention products owners are using on their pets, such as collars, dips, and chewables.
During a dog or cat exam, veterinarians evaluate the following physical and mental points:
- How the animal walks and stands (abnormal stance or gait could indicate joint or muscle problems).
- How alert the pet is to audible and visual stimuli.
- Overall condition of the animal’s body. Is the pet’s weight and fat distribution appropriate for size and age?
- Coat condition – vets looks for signs of hair loss, excessive dryness, dandruff, and coat roughness.
- Skin condition, checking for lumps, inflamed patches, oiliness, areas of abnormal skin, or thickening.
- Eye health – evidence of discharge, excessive tearing, eyelid bumps, or cloudiness.
- Ear health – redness, inflammation, discharge, or thickened skin.
- Oral health – tartar/plaque buildup at the gum line; broken, decayed, or missing teeth; mouth ulcers.
- Vets also listen to a pet’s heart and lungs for signs of abnormalities such as arrhythmia, heart murmurs, and difficulty breathing. Palpation of your pet’s abdomen can reveal indications of possible kidney, spleen, bladder, and liver disorders, especially if this type of handling causes discomfort to the animal.
Laboratory tests as part of pet exams
The vet may ask you to bring in a sample of the pet’s feces to check for roundworm or tapeworm infestation. Dogs and cats can have these parasites, but present only mild symptoms like occasional diarrhea or vomiting. Heartworm testing may be recommended if the vet considers your pet at risk for heartworm infection. Depending on the results of your pet’s examination, the doctor might order blood tests to determine if a suspected infection or disease exists. Veterinary blood tests detect diabetes, thyroid disease, autoimmune disorders, and other chronic diseases affecting dogs and cats.
Keep your pets happy and healthy with our veterinary wellness plans
To schedule a dog or cat exam with Dr. Venkat Gutta or Dr. Sri in St. Johns, call (904) 720-4275, or (904) 720-4272 to see Dr. Amar in Jacksonville. Remember – Bluestar Animal Hospital offers affordable wellness plans for dogs and cats.