Our pets are living longer, fuller lives than ever before. As such, we want them to be as healthy as they possibly can. The most important thing that you can provide for the health of your pet is a Preventive Care Exam. While nothing can totally eliminate emergency situations, a good Preventive Care Exam will reduce the likelihood of those occurrences. During these visits, your pet will receive a nose-to-tail exam, evaluating the following systems:
Eyes, ears, nose
Oral cavity, with special attention to the teeth and gums
Peripheral Lymph Nodes
Auscultation of the Heart and Lungs
Palpation of the Abdominal Cavity
Skin and Coat
Evaluation of nutrition program
Furthermore, cats and dogs receive an Intestinal Parasite Screen. This test looks for the presents of worm, protozoan, and coccidian parasites in the feces. We appreciate it when you bring a sample of your pet's feces! Fun fact: 20% of indoor cats have roundworms.
A heartworm test is recommended for all dogs. Heartworms are large worms that reside in the large vessel between the heart and the lungs. They are transmitted by mosquitoes (after biting an infected dog, fox, or coyote) and within a few months can reach 14-16 inches. Prevention of this parasites is easy and your veterinarian will discuss a method most appropriate for your pet.
Finally, as pets are living longer, chronic illnesses are more common. Middle aged and older animals benefit from senior screening bloodwork. Using information from these tests your veterinarian can more quickly detect chronic kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, hyperadrenocorticism, and more. Talk to your veterinarian about what kind of testing might be of most value for your pet.