Savvy owners embrace veterinary wellness care as their primary defense against threats to pet health. At Village Veterinary Medical Center, our wellness strategy consists of three basic tools:
Assessment—Exams are consistent and comprehensive, providing initial baseline values against which all other wellness tests or diagnostics are compared. Elements include the thorough physical examination, blood work and other laboratory tests, and feedback from pet owner regarding behavior, activity, and overall vigor.
Prevention—Protocols are initiated early in the patient’s life and continued for a continuous shield against disease. Elements include vaccinations, parasite prevention, and minimizing risks through an overall wellness approach.
Treatment—Upon early detection of an acute or chronic disease or condition, corrective treatment modalities are aggressive, while offering the least invasive approach for optimum comfort. Elements include diagnostic skill, surgical experience, access to advanced medical options, and a humane attitude.
Wellness Care for Adult Pets
A regular physical exam is just as important for your pet as it is for you. At Village Veterinary Medical Center, we strive to prevent illness whenever possible. The most valuable tool in this effort is the regular wellness checkup.
A routine examination provides us with the opportunity to develop a picture of your pet’s overall health as well as to spot potential issues before they become serious health concerns. It is also a time for education and the chance to ask your veterinarian important questions about your pet’s health, habits, and daily care. We use this time to inform you about home health care for your pet including nutrition and dental recommendations.
What Happens at a Routine Wellness Visit?
All of our examinations begin with a thorough history of your pet’s health, and then a follow-up on any past issues or treatments. A thorough canine and feline wellness examination includes the following:
- Check for significant weight change, which can be an early warning sign of disease. Obesity is a problem for many dogs that may require special dietary or nutritional needs.
- Perform a rectal exam to check for growth or abnormalities and to check the prostate in male dogs. Usually, we only do rectal exams on dogs unless cats are having anal gland issues or other rectal abnormalities
- Assess the condition of your pet’s legs, hips, joints, and spine.
- Check your pet’s hair coat, which should appear healthy and well-groomed. Dull, dry, brittle hair or hair loss may indicate an underlying illness. We will also check the skin for signs of infection, fleas, tumors, or other dermatologic conditions.
- Palpate your pet’s abdomen for abnormal masses or pain.
Listen to the chest for heart murmurs, irregular heartbeat, and abnormal lung sounds.
- Examine the eyes for cataracts, glaucoma, or inflammation.
- Examine the ears for ear mites, infection, or inflammation.
- Evaluate the nose and nasal passages for signs of upper respiratory disease.
- Palpate the lymph nodes for enlargement or changes.
- Palpate the thyroid gland for enlargement or tumors.
- Since 85% of pets that are three years old or older have periodontal disease, we will evaluate your pet’s teeth and oral cavity for inflammation or other painful lesions.
- Yearly heartworm test and fecal/stool evaluation, as well as any other lab work that may be indicated by your pet’s age or state of health.
- Vaccinations updated pending your individual pet’s needs and lifestyle.
At the wellness exam, we may also recommend spay or neuter surgery.
A Special Note Regarding Feline Pets
Cats live longer, healthier lives if they are kept indoors. Indoor housing minimizes the risk of trauma, contracting an infectious disease, and parasite infestation.
If you are considering declaw surgery, we perform only laser surgery as the most humane method. Patients experience minimal pain, swelling, and faster recovery with the laser procedure. We also provide proactive pain medications before and after any surgery. The earlier this surgery is performed, the faster the recovery time. We perform this surgery as early as 10 weeks of age