To establish your pet’s normal baseline health levels and detect conditions in their early stages—when they are easier to manage—veterinary wellness visits are necessary. Our Palm City Animal Medical Center team wants your pet to remain happy and healthy, and we explain the importance of wellness care and what these visits involve.
Why is wellness care important for my pet?
When your pet is ill, ensuring they receive appropriate veterinary care is vital. Your pet’s wellness care is just as important for the following reasons:
- Establishing a normal baseline — While veterinary diagnostic reference ranges have been established, each pet is unique and has an individual baseline, which can vary significantly from the range. Having your pet’s established healthy baseline, especially serial test results taken at each of their wellness visits, makes data interpretation easier when your four-legged friend is ill. In addition, knowing your pet’s individual normal helps our team track trends that may indicate a health problem’s early stages.
- Protecting your pet from disease — Vaccines that protect your pet from dangerous diseases are frequently administered during a routine wellness visit.
- Protecting your pet from parasites — We perform diagnostics to detect harmful parasites during a routine wellness visit, and provide appropriate treatment if your pet is affected.
- Detecting disease early — To avoid exhibiting vulnerability, pets often don’t show illness or pain signs. Therefore, if your pet is sick, they may not show signs until their condition is advanced. Routine wellness care helps our Palm City Animal Medical Center team detect these conditions in the early stages when they are easier to treat and manage.
- Protecting your pet from dental disease — A majority of pets have some degree of dental disease by the age of 3, and the condition can cause serious health complications, including organ dysfunction. During your pet’s wellness exam, we assess their mouth, and if we suspect dental disease, we may recommend a professional veterinary dental cleaning.
- Protecting your pet from pain — Osteoarthritis (OA) commonly affects pets, but the condition’s signs may be subtle, making detection difficult. Our veterinary team has the training and experience to determine when your pet is experiencing joint pain. OA causes significant pain and can reduce your pet’s mobility, and if we determine your four-legged friend has this condition, we will devise a multimodal treatment strategy to alleviate their discomfort to ensure your furry pal’s quality of life is optimal.
- Saving you money — Detecting your pet’s adverse health conditions in their early stages helps prevent costly emergency veterinary bills.
What is involved in a pet wellness visit?
During your pet’s wellness exam, your veterinarian will assess every aspect of your pet’s health. Your four-legged friend’s comprehensive wellness exam involves the following:
- Weight status assessment — We weigh your pet and assess their body condition score to determine their weight status. Obesity is a growing problem, affecting the majority of U.S. pets. If we determine your pet is overweight, we devise a weight-loss plan to help them safely lose the extra pounds. In contrast, if your pet is underweight, we may recommend additional diagnostics to determine the cause.
- Physical examination — Our veterinary team performs a thorough physical exam, assessing your pet from nose to tail. We look for issues such as cataracts, dental disease, heart murmurs or arrhythmias, skin conditions, and abdominal masses.
- Complete blood count (CBC) — Our Palm City Animal Medical Center team performs a CBC to assess your pet’s red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This test helps us detect issues such as anemia, infection, clotting abnormalities, and certain cancers.
- Biochemistry profile — We perform a biochemistry profile to assess your pet’s overall health. We may detect conditions such as electrolyte abnormalities, diabetes, and liver and kidney diseases.
- Urinalysis — Your pet’s urine can reveal valuable information about their health. We may detect issues such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), urinary stones, diabetes, and kidney disease.
- Heartworm test — Our veterinary team performs a heartworm test to ensure your pet is free of these harmful mosquito-borne parasites. This test also detects certain tick-borne diseases, which can cause your four-legged friend debilitating illness.
- Fecal check — We assess a fecal sample to determine if your pet has gastrointestinal (GI) parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, Giardia, or coccidia.
- Thyroid testing — Older pets have a high thyroid disease risk, and we may recommend thyroid testing to determine whether your furry pal is affected and plan appropriate treatment.
When does my pet need a wellness visit?
Most pets should have a veterinary wellness exam at least once a year. A senior pet has a higher health complication risk and they, as well as a pet who has a pre-existing health condition, should have a veterinary assessment at least every six months.
Wellness care helps improve your pet’s longevity and quality of life. To help ensure your pet stays healthy and happy, schedule their regular wellness exam with our American Animal Hospital Association-accredited Palm City Animal Medical Center team.