We believe this is the cornerstone of your pet’s health. You might notice that we spend a lot more time with you and your pet than many other veterinarians. No other test or procedure is as important to your pet’s health than the complete physical examination.
- Our veterinarian will ask you questions about the health history of your pet. Be sure to discuss any unusual behavior with us.
- Medical records will be consulted. Notes will be made on your pet’s diet, water consumption, and on a variety of daily behavior patterns that relate to its health.
- Temperature, pulse, respiration rate, and body weight may be noted and then we will begin the physical examination from nose to tail.
A very thorough, half-hour Annual Health Examination is our usual procedure, since your pet matures and ages many times faster than you do. This annual health examination helps determine the general well being of your pet and identifies potential problems. Early detection often helps solve the problem before serious consequences occur, and may prevent unnecessary suffering. Remember, one out of four apparently healthy pets has medical problems that need attention.
A wet nose doesn’t mean good health
The nose is not the health barometer that some people think it is, but it’s a good place to start. We will check your pet’s nose for abnormal discharges, and changes in color, texture, moisture, or shape.
Pet’s ears invite infection
You’ll probably be asked if your dog or cat has been shaking its head or scratching at its ears. Have you noticed any odor from the ears? Your pet’s deep, curved ear canals provide protection for the inner ear, but these canals also provide a snug home for parasites, infections, and foreign objects. A visual check will be made.
Eyes-windows to your pet’s state of health
Many conditions, such as anemia, infections, and jaundice, often are discovered through eye examinations. Injuries and ulcers of the eye also can be detected. We also may observe the inner structures of the eye. Eye problems such as ulcers, lacerations, glaucoma, or local inflammation may be detected.
An oral exam will be given
Oral hygiene is extremely important. We will check your pet’s gums, teeth, tongue, and palate for abnormalities, tumors, and infections. A lack of red or pink color in the lining of the lips and gums, for example, could indicate anemia.
Listening to the heart and lungs
We will use a stethoscope to listen to your pet’s heart and lungs. If any irregularities are noted, additional tests may be necessary. Early heart disease is often recognized during a routine health exam.
Your pet’s reproductive system will be examined. We will probably explain that spaying or neutering provides many benefits beyond birth control.
Health is sometimes skin deep
The skin is the body’s largest organ and a good indicator of your pet’s health. We will examine the condition of the skin and hair as a means of detecting other health problems. Your pet will be checked for fleas, ticks, other external parasites, tumors, and wounds.
Sense of touch
We will use hands and fingers to feel the body. This sense of touch will help to assess the condition of internal organs and to detect tumors or other irregularities. The legs and feet of your pet will be checked. The condition of joints, muscles, skin, lymph nodes, and hair also will be noted.
It’s wise to immunize
There are many changes from the traditional annual vaccination. We will tailor an immunization program or titer program for your pet. Heartworms are a problem throughout North America, and are being found in the southern and central Willamette Valley. Consult with us regarding prevention of this disease.
If you have any questions concerning your pet’s health, call us. We invest a LOT of our time and education in determining the best therapies and preventions for our patients. We are not only your pet’s best friend (next to you, of course) but also your best source of information about your pet.