Bringing your dog in for their annual wellness exam is a core part of your pet's long term health and happiness. These routine pet checkups allow out Johns Creek vets to monitor your pup's overall health and wellbeing. Our Johns Creek Veterinary Clinic vets are here to explain what is involved in a wellness exam and why it's so important.
Should I Bring My Pet In Even If They Look Perfectly Healthy?
Yes! Even if your pet looks and acts healthy, an annual wellness exam for your dog is incredibly important. Firstly, the goal of a vet checkup is to give your dog the chance to not only be healthy, but to achieve their best possible health.
Secondly, regularly scheduled veterinary examinations will allow our Johns Creek vets to check your dog for conditions or diseases which they may still be in the early stages of developing. Catching health issues like parasites, ear infections, or gastrointestinal issues early ensures that they are at their most treatable.
How Often Should I Bring My Dog In For A Wellness Exam?
As you may have guessed, the standard frequency for dog exams is once every year. However, each pup is different and has different needs (especially as they age). And because of that, the actual frequency will depend on your pet's age and their medical history.
Puppies and kittens can be susceptible to health conditions which are easily resisted by adult pets. This is likewise true for senior or geriatric pets. Your should bring your senior dog or puppy in for a checkup much more frequently, every month for puppies and twice a year or more the older your canine companion grows.
What Does A Wellness Exam Typically Involve?
When you bring your four-legged friend in to Johns Creek Veterinary Clinic for a veterinary checkup, our vets will review their medical history and ask you about any specific concerns your might have.
In some instances, we will have asked you to bring in a sample of your pup's feces ahead of time too. We will take that sample and examine it for signs of intestinal parasites which would be very difficult to detect otherwise.
After these initial steps, your veterinarian will perform a physical checkup of your dog which will usually include any or all of the following:
- Listening to your pet's heart and lungs
- Checking your animal's weight, stance, and gait
- Checking your pet's eyes for signs of redness, cloudiness, eyelid issues, excessive tearing, or discharge
- Inspecting the pet's coat for overall condition, dandruff, or abnormal hair loss
- Looking at your pet's feet and nails for damage or signs of more serious health concerns
- Looking at your pet's ears for signs of bacterial infection, ear mites, wax build-up, or polyps
- Examining the condition of your pet's teeth for any indications of periodontal disease, damage or decay
- Examining your dog or cat's skin for a range of issues from dryness to parasites to lumps and bumps (particularly in skin folds)
- Palpate your pet's abdomen to access whether the internal organs appear to be normal and to check for signs of discomfort
- Feeling along your pet's body (palpating) for any signs of illness such as swelling, evidence of lameness such as limited range of motion, and signs of pain
All of these tests are meant to detect signs that your pet is experiencing a health problem of any kind. Since our pup's sometimes aren't good at telling us when they are uncomfortable, these tests and checks will help to determine how your pup is holding up.
Will It Be Expensive?
Compared to treating advanced forms of conditions, disorders or diseases, regularly scheduled wellness exams will save you lots of money.
Not only that, but they will make sure your dog experiences a minimal amount of discomfort or pain from any health issues they are experiencing. The sooner medical issue is detected, the sooner it can be diagnosed and treated.
It's a win-win for you and your beloved pet!