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A complete medical assessment is centered around a thorough physical examination. All pets should be examined at least once a year by your veterinarian. Pets age about seven times as fast as we do, so older pets should be examined even more often (every six months).
Examinations are critical to help veterinarians find any abnormalities or diseases early, which can then be treated early. Early treatment of diseases can often prolong the length and quality of life of your pet.
At the start of a complete medical assessment, a Veterinary Technician will assess your pets weight and temperature. Common questions asked would include:
•What food is your pet eating?
•How often the pet is eating, if there is any vomiting, diarrhea, coughing or sneezing, any mobility issues, signs of pain, and what lifestyle does your pet enjoy?
•Increase in drinking and urinating habits is very important to know as well.
•You may also be asked about your pet’s exercise and any behaviour patterns or problems.
These questions enable your veterinarian to give appropriate recommendations for your pet.
During a physical examination, your veterinarian will assess your pet’s:
Your Doctor may use an ophthalmoscope, will assess your pet’s vision, pupillary light reflex, and look for any abnormal redness, lumps, or discharge.
The Doctor will check for any redness, inflammation, lumps and abnormal discharge. An ear swab may be examined microscopically to detect bacterial and/or fungal infections
For any abnormal discharge, change in colour or lumps.
For any oral lumps and for colour of mucous membranes.
For signs of periodontal disease such as gingivitis and tartar or loose teeth. Check out the dental page for more information.
For any enlargement of submandibular, prescapular, prefemoral and popliteal lymph nodes, this can be from an infection or tumour.
Using a stethoscope to listen for any heart murmurs or arrhythmias.
Using a stethoscope to listen for any wheezing, crackles or increased respiratory sounds.
Palpation for any abnormal lumps or bumps, assess the kidneys, intestines, urinary bladder.
Palpation of forelimbs and hindlegs for any arthritis, stiffness, or patellar luxation.
Will be examined for any abnormal lumps or bumps, hair loss, or areas of itchiness or discomfort.
Will assess for any muscle loss and a body condition score will be given for your pet’s weight.
All these areas will be examined to ensure your pet is healthy. Heart disease, dental disease, and abdominal masses are just a few abnormalities that can be detected on physical examination. A food recommendation will also be made to optimize the nutrition for your pet. Further testing such as a fecal sample, blood testing and urine testing is recommended annually to further assess your pet’s health.