Pet Wellness Care
It can be tricky to determine to tell if an animal is unwell because they have an uncanny knack of being able to mask the signs of illness. This is an instinctive behavior that harks back to the time when animals lived in the wild and were at risk of predators, and by masking their illness, they would not look weak or vulnerable. Despite the fact that our cats and dogs are much less likely to come across predators, the instinct to protect themselves in this way remains. One of the best ways to ensure that your pet is fighting fit is to ensure that she receives the appropriate wellness care.
What is wellness care?
Keeping your pet healthy and happy is the principal aim of wellness care. The way in which it does this is through monitoring the health of your pet and making the necessary recommendations for preventative and general care. Many people mistakenly believe that the only time you should take your pet to the vets is when they are sick. This couldn’t be further from the truth and in fact, by making sure that you take your furbaby to see your professional on a regular basis, you could help prevent her from becoming unwell at all.
We recommend that all animals in our care have at least one wellness visit to our veterinary offices each year. However, in some instances, such as if your pet is already diagnosed with a health condition, we may increase the frequency of these visits so that your furbaby can be monitored more closely.
What is included in canine / feline wellness?
Exactly what is included in your pet’s wellness care may depend on her individual circumstances. Cats and dogs have slightly different health requirements, and if your pet is particularly young or old, is pregnant or unwell, then again, the checks that they need may differ slightly. However, as a general rule, you can expect the following elements to be involved in a comprehensive pet wellness appointment.
A physical examination
A top to tail physical examination enables our veterinarians to stop any visible problems with your pet, such as unusual lumps or bumps, skin problems or areas of inflammation. Her ears, eyes, nose, and mouth will be checked, along with her joints, paws and tail. We will also palpate her abdomen to check that her internal organs feel a normal size and in the right place.
Basic observations can tell us a great deal about the health and wellbeing of your pet. These include her temperature, her heart rate, her respiratory rate, and her weight.
Blood tests may not always be necessary, but they can be an invaluable source of information when it comes to determining how well your pet’s body is functioning on the inside. Typical blood tests include a full blood count which measures the number of red and white cells present in the sample, as well as the number of platelets and blood chemistry profiles. Blood chemistry looks at how the organs themselves are functioning and can show indications of problems such as heart disease, kidney/liver disorder, and diabetes. If you have a dog, she may also be given a blood test to check for the presence of heartworms – a potentially deadly parasitic infection.
Vaccinations and other preventative healthcare
Vaccinations have saved the lives of countless pets over the years and have proven to be the very best way of keeping our beloved animals safe from the many infectious diseases that pose a risk to their health. Vaccinations are nearly always administered on a strict schedule to ensure that your pet remains properly protected at all times, and your vet will use your pet’s wellness appointment as an ideal opportunity to talk to you about what vaccinations she needs and when. Other forms of preventative healthcare may also be discussed, including topical and oral medications that can protect your pet from parasites such as fleas, ticks, mites and other types of worm. Again, you should follow the advice given to you by our veterinary team who are just as dedicated to keeping your pet safe as you are.
During your canine or feline’s wellness appointment, our veterinary team will also talk to you about your pet’s general health and wellbeing, her diet and exercise regime and her behavior. This gives us a better picture of how your pet is when she isn’t in our offices, and we may be able to offer advice that will give you additional support with any problems you may be having or that could simply benefit the long-term health and happiness of your pet.
If you would like more information on what to expect from a canine or feline wellness appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced veterinarians.