Wellness visits are not just about annual vaccines – they are about doing a thorough physical exam on your pet, as well as talking to you and your family to determine if anything has changed in you or your pets’ lives.
During wellness visits, we ensure that your pet is healthy, administer any necessary vaccines, provide up to date information and suggestions on preventive care, diet and other ways to keep them healthy longer.
How often does my pet need a wellness exam?
Animals need wellness exams at different points in their lives. For example, a puppy or kitten should be seen every 3 weeks up until they are 16 weeks old for examination and booster vaccines. As an adult, annual wellness exams are recommended most often, but your doctor may recommend something different for your pet. Senior pets often need wellness exams twice a year since their health status tends to change more quickly. Ask our team at your wellness exam when your next visit should be.
What do I need to do to prepare for a wellness exam?
There is not much you need to do prior to a wellness exam. If you are able to bring a fresh fecal (poop) sample in for your visit, please do. This allows us to check for any intestinal parasites and helps to ensure your pet is as healthy as possible. Otherwise feel free to bring a list of questions or concerns – our team is happy to help.
- New Clients – please arrive 10-15 minutes earlier than your appointment time to complete any information needed with our front desk.
- Existing Clients – please arrive 5-10 minutes earlier than your appointment time to complete any information needed with our front desk.
- To help ensure the safety of your pet, other pets, and our team, please make sure that your pet is either on a leash or in a carrier.
- If your pet has been seen by a veterinarian at another hospital, please bring any medical and vaccine history to your appointment. If you cannot obtain the history, please bring the name and phone number of the hospital and we will try to obtain the history during your appointment.
- Please bring a list of any medications, including the prescribed dosages that your pet is currently taking.
- If you have a new puppy or kitten, please bring a stool sample.
- Do not hesitate to let us know if you will require any assistance with moving your pet from your car to our office.
What if the doctor finds something concerning during the wellness exam?
If during the physical examination the doctor finds anything that may be of concern, they will let you know and explain in detail what they are seeing or feeling. We then will be able to provide you with a treatment plan, which is essentially a list of recommended diagnostic tests and/or therapies for your pet. Our team will go over these recommendations with you in detail to help you make the best decision possible for you and your pet.
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What routine wellness treatments does my pet need?
There are many routine annual tests that can be done to evaluate your pet’s health. One of these would be having annual bloodwork done for your pet. Many of our pets will benefit from having annual bloodwork as getting annual blood values helps the doctor in identifying trending values for your specific pet. Just like us, each animal is slightly different so having these trending values helps the doctor in detecting subtle changes that may indicate a health problem early before it starts to affect your pet.
Another recommended test is a fecal (poop) sample which helps determine if your pet has any intestinal parasites. If you are able, please bring a fresh sample with you to your appointment. We can easily treat most of these infections with a deworming medication, and many clients choose to do monthly or annual deworming as part of their wellness routine.
We also recommend your dog be on prevention for heartworm disease. To begin, we will need to do a simple blood test. Heartworm prevention medication can be administered in a once a month pill that your dog takes orally or in an injectable form administered twice annually by your veterinarian. Oral heartworm prevention medication also doubles as a monthly de-wormer.
Please ask any of our team members if you have further questions about these treatments or tests.
What should I expect during a wellness exam?
At each wellness exam one of our experienced team members will get a current weight and temperature from your pet. You will be asked a short history to try to determine if there is anything new or different that we should be focused on during your exam. Often you can provide us information about your pet’s behavior and routines that can be very helpful in determining what your pet needs. If you have more than one concern or any specific questions, please let the technician know so they can relay that information to the doctor. During your pet’s wellness exam, the doctor will do a thorough physical examination of your pet. We will look at their eyes, ears and mouth, listen to the heart and lungs, feel their abdomen and lymph nodes as well as evaluate how they are walking and moving.
Many treatments can be performed in the exam room, such as vaccinations. For some treatments, such as blood draws and x-rays, we will take your pet to our treatment area where our highly trained team can better treat your pet safely. If you prefer that your pet receive treatments in the treatment area or the exam room, please let us know. We will do whatever we can to make your visit as pleasant and as safe as possible for both you and your pet.
After the physical examination is performed, a thorough treatment plan will be created specifically for your pet’s needs, and we will go over the recommendations with you at this time. The treatment plan will itemize the recommended treatments and diagnostics, along with the associated costs, to help you make the best decisions for your pet’s healthcare. If you have any questions after going over the treatment plan, the doctor would be happy to discuss them with you at that time. This is the perfect time to ask any questions you may have about our payment plans so we can get started in setting that up for you.
Once all treatments and diagnostics are completed, payment arrangements have been made and all of your questions and concerns have been addressed, you and your pet will want to check in with the front office to set up any further appointments you may need. We look forward to meeting you and your pet!