At your pet’s wellness visit, you may wonder why we perform a variety of tests and exams, even when your pet seems perfectly healthy. Pets are adept at hiding disease, making wellness screening tests essential for a comprehensive evaluation of your pet’s health.
During your pet’s routine wellness visit at Island Animal Hospital, our veterinarians go beyond a mere full-body massage. They meticulously check each visible body system for subtle changes that may indicate underlying health problems. This thorough examination is crucial for regular wellness screening.
Here’s what we examine during your pet’s physical check-up:
- Eyes: We check for ocular conditions, especially in flat-faced pets prone to eye issues like corneal ulcers, entropion, cherry eye, and dry eye. Regular eye exams help detect issues before they become painful or lead to vision loss.
- Ears: Identifying and treating ear infections early on is crucial. We also look for polyps or masses that may need removal to prevent future issues.
- Mouth: Dental health is vital, and we examine for signs of gingivitis, tartar accumulation, loose or diseased teeth, oral masses, and other abnormalities. Recommendations for dental cleaning and at-home oral health management are provided based on your pet’s dental disease stage.
- Skin: Your pet’s skin reflects their overall health. Dry skin, brittle fur, hair loss, and itchy skin may indicate various issues from poor nutrition to allergies or infections.
- Heart and Lungs: We listen to your pet’s heart and lungs to detect potential issues early on. Abnormalities may prompt additional diagnostic testing.
- Abdomen: A thorough abdominal palpation helps identify abnormalities such as kidney enlargement, bladder issues, or an enlarged spleen, which could indicate underlying conditions.
- Muscles, Joints, and Bones: Evaluating your pet’s gait helps identify orthopedic issues, allowing for pain management and improved mobility.
Why are regular wellness tests important for your pet’s health?
While a physical exam provides valuable insights, regular screening tests offer an internal look, revealing even more about your pet’s well-being. These tests not only establish a baseline of normal values but also detect early disease indicators, often before clinical signs appear. Early detection is a key element of the veterinarian’s ability to cure and/or manage a disease process.
Depending on your pet’s specifics, we may recommend regular screening tests, including:
- Heartworm and Tick-Borne Disease Testing: Annual testing helps detect diseases like heartworm and Lyme disease in their earliest stages.
- Fecal Exam: We examine stool samples to detect common parasite eggs and provide appropriate treatment.
- Urinalysis: This helps diagnose urinary issues, revealing inflammation, infection, urinary crystal development, or kidney dysfunction.
- Blood Work: A complete blood count (CBC) and blood chemistry panel provide valuable information on anemia, infection, inflammation, electrolyte imbalances, or organ dysfunction.