Comprehensive, Preventative Wellness Care
Wellness exams are a fundamental part of your pet’s preventive care. They allow us to monitor your pet’s overall health, help identify potential medical concerns, and provide interventions that may increase your pet’s longevity. At Hill Country Animal Hospital, we are committed to providing comprehensive, individualized wellness exams that maximize your pet’s well-being. We recommend yearly wellness exams for pets of all ages, and twice yearly exams for senior pets.
What to expect
During a wellness checkup, our experienced veterinarians will complete the following:
- Listen to your pet’s heart: This helps us identify early signs of cardiac disease, which can be treated more easily if addressed in the initial stages.
- Listen to your pet’s lungs: Doing so allows us to assess the pulmonary health of your pet, as well as check for health issues, such as infections or obstructive diseases.
- Check your pet’s teeth and mouth: Examining your pet’s oral cavity helps prevent serious diseases, as well as ensure that the mouth is healthy and free of bacteria. For young animals, this examination ensures that the bite is developing properly and that your pet is losing its baby teeth at the appropriate time.
- Check your pet’s vision: This helps us determine if your pet has any ocular conditions, which are easier to treat if identified early.
- Check your pet’s ears: Ear diseases are relatively common in pets, though they are often difficult to detect. Assessing your pet’s ears helps us to identify allergies, mites, or other infections that may cause ear disease.
- Palpate the lymph nodes, abdomen, and skin: By examining these areas, we can identify unusual lumps or swellings, as well as skin changes or hair loss. These may be symptoms of systemic problems, such as metabolic diseases, which are common in middle-aged and senior animals.
- Palpate joints and muscles: Examining the joints and legs lets us evaluate for swollen joints, decreased muscle tone, or problems with your pet’s gait. For young pets, this examination helps identify developmental hip or elbow problems. For senior pets, we look for signs of arthritis, which can be easily managed if identified in the early stages.
- Complete lab work: A comprehensive wellness exam also includes routine lab work with our in-house lab, such as a heartworm test, fecal flotation test, a complete blood cell count, and an abbreviated chemistry panel to identify the presence of different diseases. For pets seven years of age or older, we include a complete blood cell count, full chemistry profile, and we check your pet’s thyroid level. These labs help create a baseline for your pet’s overall health, which is then used to detect emerging diseases.
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