Why Are Annual Exams Important?
Annual exams can:
1. Allow your veterinarian to discuss your pet's health risks and ways to prevent disease.
2. Check for underlying problems that could turn into serious illness (early detection often means a better outcome with less likelihood for need of emergency treatment). Remember that hiding signs of sickness or pain is an instinct for many pets- an injured animal in the wild is preyed upon first.
3. Give your veterinarian a baseline to compare to if your pet's health declines in the future.
4. Make sure your pets is healthy enough to receive needed vaccines. (in some instances, vaccinating the pet when the pet is ill can make the pet feel worse and potentially not develop lasting immunity from the vaccine).
What will the veterinarian check during an annual wellness exam?
The physical exam will assess: body weight, body condition, eyes, ear flaps and ear canals, dental and oral health, superficial lymph nodes, heart rate and beat quality, breath sounds, belly palpation, skin / haircoat condition, gait quality / musculature, and external parasites.