What is involved in a dog wellness exam?

A dog wellness exam is a thorough examination of your dog from head to toe. This includes checking their eyes, ears, nose for any discharge or abnormalities, examining their mouth for tartar or masses, listening to their heart and lungs, and palpating their abdomen and lymph nodes. Additionally, the veterinarian will assess your dog's skin, hair coat, and paws for any signs of itching or issues. Depending on your dog's age, a rectal exam may also be performed.

Dr. Adele Hilliard
Haywood Road Animal Hospital

How does dog wellness impact the longevity of my pet?

Maintaining your dog's wellness is essential for extending their lifespan. Ensuring your dog is free from arthritis, joint pain, abdominal pain, dental disease, and other health issues can greatly impact their overall health and longevity.

How soon should I bring my pet in to see a veterinarian for a wellness exam?

It is recommended to bring your pet to the veterinarian as soon as you acquire them, regardless of whether they were previously owned by another family or adopted from a shelter. For puppies, it is advised to bring them in for a wellness exam as early as six to eight weeks of age.

Will additional testing be needed beyond the wellness exam?

Additional testing depends on your pet's individual needs. Generally, heartworm testing and fecals are recommended for all dogs. Starting around one year of age, or even sooner, annual blood work and urine testing are advised to monitor for early signs of issues with organs such as the liver or kidneys.

How will a veterinarian assess dog wellness?

Veterinarians assess dog wellness through a comprehensive physical exam, which includes checking for any concerning findings. Additional tests, such as heartworm and fecal tests, are also used to evaluate your dog's overall health and determine if further medications or preventative care are needed.

What are some dog wellness recommendations my vet is likely to make?

Some common dog wellness recommendations include vaccinations, heartworm prevention, parasite control (including fleas and ticks), dental hygiene, weight management, and proper nutrition. Recommendations may vary depending on your dog's lifestyle and environment.

What are some possible environmental factors that can affect dog wellness?

Environmental factors affecting dog wellness include pet safety (e.g., having a fenced yard), exposure to wildlife or stray animals, outdoor activities such as hiking or camping, and living conditions (e.g., wooded areas vs. apartments). Prevention measures for heartworms, fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites may also be tailored to your dog's environment.

Why is early detection of health issues in my dog so important?

Early detection of health issues in your dog is crucial because it allows for prompt treatment and prevention of further complications. Catching problems early can lead to better outcomes and improved quality of life for your pet.

What is geriatric dog screening?

Geriatric dog screening typically refers to more frequent health assessments and testing for dogs considered seniors, usually around eight years of age (or six years for large or giant breeds). This may include twice-yearly exams and annual blood work to detect any potential health concerns.

Will my vet suggest allergy testing for my dog?

Allergy testing may be recommended if your dog consistently exhibits signs of allergies, such as licking their feet, scratching, or developing infections in areas like their armpits or groin. If these symptoms persist, your veterinarian may suggest allergy testing to identify and manage the cause of your dog's discomfort.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (864) 288-7472, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media https://www.facebook.com/animalhospitalgreenville, #

Dog Wellness Exams - FAQs

Dr. Adele Hilliard
Haywood Road Animal Hospital

What does a veterinarian look for during a dog wellness exam?

During a dog wellness exam, a veterinarian performs a head-to-tail examination. They check the dog's eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, skin, heart, lungs, and belly. They also feel for the lymph nodes and look for any signs of joint pain or other abnormalities.

What do we need to bring to a wellness exam?

When taking your dog to a wellness exam, make sure to bring their vaccine records, any recent heartworm or fecal test results, and any blood work or urinary test results, if available. This helps the veterinarian have a complete picture of your dog's health history.

Are wellness exams for dogs optional?

No, wellness exams for dogs are not optional. Establishing a relationship with a veterinarian requires having a wellness exam on file. While veterinarians may still see your dog in case of an emergency, regular wellness exams are essential for monitoring your dog's health over time.

How long does a dog wellness exam usually take?

A dog wellness exam typically takes around 30 minutes. This time is divided between the technician taking the dog's basic history, the veterinarian performing the examination, and discussing any test results. Some test results, like blood work, may take a day or two to come back and may be discussed at a later time.

How do dog wellness exams influence subsequent treatments?

The purpose of a wellness exam is to ensure your dog is as healthy as possible. If the veterinarian notices any abnormalities or concerns during the exam, they will make recommendations for future appointments and treatments to keep your dog healthy.

What are baseline diagnostic tests and how do they help my dog?

Baseline diagnostic tests include heartworm tests and fecal tests to check for intestinal parasites and heartworms. The physical exam helps detect external parasites like fleas and ticks. Ideally, blood work and urine tests should also be included as baseline tests to ensure your dog is healthy from the beginning. Identifying any congenital issues or health concerns early on can improve your dog's quality of life and overall well-being.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (864) 288-7472, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media https://www.facebook.com/animalhospitalgreenville, #