puppy examTo start the New Year off correctly, we are encouraging all pet owners to catch up on preventive care – or wellness care. Perhaps the most important part of wellness is the regular physical exam. Dogs and cats cannot communicate to us minor problems they may be experiencing: try to let someone know you have a headache without pointing or speaking! Animals age more quickly than we do. You ™ve probably heard the basic rule of thumb that pets age 7 years for each calendar year – that means that an exam once a year for a dog is equal to an exam every 7 years for you! A thorough physical exam will include weight and body condition evaluation, oral and dental examination, listening to the heart and lungs, checking eyes and ears, palpating the abdomen and lymph nodes and assessing skin health. It will also include a series of questions for the owner to help the veterinarian determine if any subtle signs of disease are occurring. This is the time to discuss minor behavior problems, nutrition, other aspects of a wellness program and dental care.

At Animal Care Clinic, we recommend complete physical exams by one of our doctors at least once per year. As animals age, they need more frequent exams, and if an animal has a chronic disease or is on certain medications, we recommend more frequent examinations. As you can see here, examination time is also a bonding time for our doctors and patients! Bring your pets in to see us soon!

by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP