Our pets are not able to communicate to us directly about how they are feeling. There are only two ways most owners discover a problem in their pets’ health:
A pet develops an illness or is obviously suffering from illness, compromising their daily quality of life
A wellness exam done by your veterinarian discovers a hidden illness or a possible source for a future illness.
Regular wellness exams allow us to form a picture of your pet’s overall health and spot potential issues. By scheduling regular exams, we can help you keep your pet in good health and avoid letting a disease progress to the point that it is painful or potentially fatal. We recommend a complete physical examination at least once a year, although checkup exams every six months are encouraged.
As your partner in maintaining your pet’s health, Friendship Veterinary Hospital in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, welcomes questions about diet, preventive and daily care, and exercise habits. No question is too small or too silly. It is our pleasure to address your concerns. We want you to be informed and feel comfortable in helping your pet live a longer, healthier and happier life.
What We Do During Pet Wellness Exams
During your pet's exam our veterinarians and staff will:
Consult with you on your pet’s behavior, appetite, exercise habits, and regular activities at home.
Provide nutritional counseling.
Discuss heartworm, flea, tick and parasite control.
Listen to your pet's heart - Heart murmurs, arrhythmias and signs of heart disease can be detected with a stethoscope.
Listen to your pet's lungs - By listening to your pet's lungs with a stethoscope, we can detect infections and diseases and assess the overall pulmonary health of your pet.
Examine your pet's teeth and mouth – Dental disease is the most common disease in pets. Examining your pet's teeth and mouth allows us to determine the level of infection or impaction. Puppies and kittens also need to be checked to ensure their teeth are developing properly.
Evaluate your pet's eyes - Ocular conditions can be prevented by regular care and screenings. We look for dry eyes, cataracts, corneal ulcers, and glaucoma.
Look into your pet's ears – We check for ear mites, redness, odor or discharge or other indications of ear infections. Allergies and outdoor activities may be a cause for irritation.
Feel the skin, lymph nodes and abdomen – We feel for lumps, bumps, swellings, skin discolorations, lesions or patterns of hair loss or thinning. These may be signs of systemic problems or metabolic diseases.
Feel joints and muscles – By feeling and moving the joints and limbs, we can detect swollen joints, decreased muscle tone and variations in muscle size. In young pets, we will look for developmental issues, and in our older friends, we detect signs of arthritis.
Perform blood & lab tests - A complete annual physical exam should include a heartworm, blood and urine tests. These simple tests give us a baseline archive of your pet’s overall health and may point to underlying diseases.
Screen for parasites – A recommended fecal examination allows us to check for parasites or worms.
Scheduling a Wellness Exam for a Dog or Cat
Scheduling a wellness exam for your pet in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is simple. Give us a call at Friendship Veterinary Hospital.