We recommend yearly wellness visits for all pets – even healthy ones! For senior pets (over seven years), we recommend a wellness visit every six months.
We may pick up on a concern early at these wellness visits that might otherwise go undiagnosed or untreated. Preventative health care is the best way to give your pet a healthier, happier life!
Wellness Visit Procedure
A wellness visit is a simple yet essential procedure. We will thoroughly examine your pet at the appointment to look for any bad conditions or signs of disease.
Your veterinarian will first look over your pet’s entire exterior. They will check their skin, ears, paws, nose, tail, and everything in between.
After that, we will check over how they are doing internally. We check things like their body weight, how well they are breathing, and their heart rate.
Changes in Your Pet
You know your pet better than anyone else. If you notice any changes in their usual behavior patterns or their health, let us know. Such changes can sometimes indicate an underlying problem. By communicating any changes that you have noticed, you can help your veterinarian catch problems early on before they become big problems.
Questions You Can Ask Yourself:
- Have you noticed any excessive licking, chewing, or scratching on any part of their body?
- Is your pet coughing, sneezing, or experiencing shortness of breath?
- Have there been any changes in your pet’s behavior or temperament?
- Any changes in your pet’s eating or drinking habits?
- Has your pet’s activity or energy level changed?
- Have you noticed any changes in your pet’s bathroom habits? Any accidents in the house? Change in stool consistency or vomiting?
- Is your pet limping or showing signs of stiffness?
- Do you notice any changes in your pet’s sight or hearing abilities?
Adult dogs and cats have vaccine programs based on their age and lifestyle. Puppies and kittens should be vaccinated every four weeks, from when they are between 8 and 18 weeks old.
Certain vaccines require annual boosters, while others work for a longer period. We give some vaccines if your dog or cat has a lifestyle need.
For example, a dog that spends time in the woods has a higher risk of a severe bacterial infection. Or, if you board your dog regularly, they will need to remain updated on kennel cough vaccinations.
Heartworm Testing for Dogs
Heartworm disease is a severe disease and leads to death if untreated, another critical reason for an annual wellness check. According to the FDA, yearly testing for heartworms is recommended, and sometimes even more frequently.
“Dogs that are seven months of age and older should be tested for heartworms before starting heartworm prevention. A dog may appear healthy on the outside, but heartworms may be living and thriving on the inside.
A dog started on heartworm preventative medicine without being tested by a veterinarian will remain infected with adult heartworms. Heartworm preventives do not kill adult heartworms; therefore, the dog will remain infected. Also, giving a heartworm preventive to a dog infected with adult heartworms may be harmful or deadly.
We recommend annual testing of all dogs on heartworm prevention. Talk to your dog’s veterinarian about the best time for your dog’s yearly heartworm test.”
Wellness visits are even more critical for your pet if they are in their senior years! It is an unfortunate fact of life that an older pet is much more prone to health problems. Things like cancer, trouble walking around, and heart disease increase in likelihood the older they get.
Because of this, we recommend that you bring them in for wellness examinations at least every six months.
Just because your pet is older does not mean that they cannot still be perfectly healthy. We need to take extra precautions to maintain their health and deal with any issues as rapidly as possible.
Cinema Vet Annual Exam Package
Because we recognize the importance of wellness exams for your pet, we have created a special package that covers it and other critical annual tests for your pet.
Our Annual Exam Package includes the wellness exam, a fecal test, and a heartworm test. We recommend your pet gets both of these tests done annually to help prevent the spread of disease.
By having your pet examined regularly, you give them the gift of a long and healthy life. Identifying an illness or condition in its early stage is a vital part of resolving it as rapidly and effectively as possible.
Contact us to schedule a wellness visit or ask us any questions you might have.
Jaimie Ronchetto, DVM
Cinema Veterinary Centre