A healthy animal may best be kept healthy through regular comprehensive, yearly examinations and consultations. The yearly physical may catch hidden problems in their early stages before owners notice that anything is wrong with their pets.
Early diagnosis may mean the difference between success and failure in the treatment of a disease. Since animals can not talk and often do not make their discomfort known until a problem has reached a critical stage, yearly exams become even more important in veterinary medicine than in its human counterpart.
In addition, the annual health evaluation is a time for your veterinarian to make recommendation with regard to nutrition, exercise, weight control and hygiene. Your veterinarian will take this opportunity to discuss with you the latest developments and recommendations regarding pet health care and treatment This annual consultation is your opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your pet’s health and behavior. Learn more about how to make the most of your visits with your vet, read Dr. Simon’s article: How to Get Along with Your Veterinarian.
The Annual Blood Screen and Urinalysis
Disease begins on a cellular level and eventually develops into clinical disease. Before clinical symptoms are apparent, a physical exam will not discover the problems and blood and urine tests are needed for early diagnosis. A yearly blood and urine screen is valuable to run on apparently healthy animals because it will either detect hidden problems or it will provide a normal baseline with which to compare with past and future tests.
Yearly Heartworm Testing & Preventive (Dogs & Cats)
Both dogs and cats can become infested with heartworms as a result of getting bit by an infected mosquito. Since mosquitoes get indoors, animals, which never get outside are still at risk, although to a lesser extent A pet with Heartworm disease may not display outward clinical symptoms for 2 to 3 years. If, through blood testing, we can detect Heartworm disease in its early stages before there are any clinical signs, we have an excellent chance of curing the disease and saving the animals life. Although the incidence of Heartworm disease in cats is much less than in dogs,. if a cat contracts the disease, it is more likely to cause death because just 1 Heartworm can kill a cat where as it may take 15 to 20 Heartworms to kill a dog. Consequently, we recommend that dogs and cats be blood tested each spring and put on monthly Heartworm preventive from May to December. Learn more about it: read Dr. Simon’s article Heartworm Disease.
Feline Leukemia Testing and Vaccination
Feline Leukemia is the most common fatal infectious feline disease. If your cat sneaks outside, even occasionally, and is in contact with other outside cats consider periodically testing for Feline Leukemia. If your cat gets out regularly then vaccinating against the disease may be more appropriate. Learn more about the feline leukemia: read Dr. Simon’s article Feline Leukemia.
Stool (Fecal) Analysis – every 4-6 months
Examining a pet’s stool both with the naked eye as well as microscopically is very important for early detection of diseases such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, coccidia, giardia, and toxoplasmosis, not only for your pet’s health but also for your family’s. Worming a pet involves drugs that should only be used the supervision of your veterinarian. Pets are very often born with worms or they may contract them by sniffing the stool of other animals. Remember; just because the stool appears normal to the naked eye is by no means assurance that worm eggs are not present.
This test detects elevations in intraocular pressure, which if not found early, could lead to the loss of an eye. We recommend routine annual glaucoma testing for pet’s 6 years of age and older