Physical Exams for Pets: Why are they important?
When your pet gets sick, you call your veterinarian. But what about when your pet is well? Physical exams are important because they give your veterinarian important information about your pet’s health. Your pet’s doctor can catch potential health issues before they become problems, and let you know any steps you need to take to improve your pet’s health. What’s more, regular checkups help your pet get used to going to the veterinarian office in a time where stress is low and nothing bad happens.
- What happens during a physical exam of your pet? Your veterinarian will observe your pet’s general appearance, listen to the chest, inspect the overall body condition, skin, fur, muscles, eye, nose, mouth, and so on. Even during this simple examination, the doctor is gathering vital information. Feeling the abdominal organs, checking the hips and knees, and inspecting your animal’s teeth will help your veterinarian determine your pet’s health as well. During the exam, your doctor will talk to you about any vaccinations or further tests your pet may need.
- Your veterinarian can help you take better care of your pet. During a pet’s wellness exam, the doctor might talk to you about your pet’s life stage, recommending any activity or dietary changes that may be appropriate. Veterinarians know which ailments affect different breeds and can help you take care of your specific pet.
- Regular exams can help prevent disease. By performing blood work and other tests, your veterinarian can evaluate your pet’s organ function, detect infection, chronic conditions, and more. Remember that dogs and cats age more rapidly than we do. Being proactive about your pet’s health can catch problems in the early stages, before they become life-threatening. Preventing disease is also much cheaper than treating it, which is another reason to identify problems early.
- How often should your pet have a physical exam? Your pet’s life stage determines how often they need to see a veterinarian. Puppies and kittens typically need an initial exam and another in 2 or 3 months to make sure they’re growing as they should, and remain healthy. Adult animals need a yearly exam, but geriatric pets will probably need to be seen more often than that. “Geriatric” refers to pets in the final 25 percent of their lifespan, and while it’s not exact, it usually means older than about 8 for cats and 6 to 9 for dogs.
At Reed Animal Hospital, we treat your pets as if they were our own. Our goal is to help you and your pet enjoy a healthy, fulfilling life together, so our extraordinary team offers a wide range of services. We’ve got veterinarians, technicians, assistants, and receptionists, all prepared to help you and your pet, and we even offer referrals to specialty surgeons, many of whom will travel to our office to consult with you. For more information or to make an appointment, call us in Campbell at 408-369-1788, or in Saratoga at 408-647-2906, or contact us through our website.