Are Yearly Pet Exams Necessary?

You might already guess that we can’t help but be biased on this matter, but hear us out. It’s not that uncommon for pet owners to forget to bring them in for their yearly pet exams. If the pet’s health hasn’t changed, you currently lack the funds, and/or it stresses the animal out, why worry about it? We will give you the run-down of what to expect in yearly veterinary pet exams. This “check-up” all comes down to detection and prevention.

Pet Exams are for Prevention

There are many quotes, but none rings more true than this for healthcare: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Just like with any living being, healthcare is a huge factor. Take heartworm prevention; according to the American Heartworm Society, it can cost roughly around $1,500 to treat, while it could have been prevented for a whole year for around $120. There are a lot of preventative measures taken by your veterinarian to give you and your fur-babies extra assurance for a better quality of life, as well as savings.

Pet Exams are for Detection

Animals are excellent at hiding pain and threatening symptoms. It might be hard to know when something is not quite right. Veterinarians train and study the signs of what to look for. Here are some basic areas they check into during pet exams:

Nutrition & Weight – Do you know if your pet is overweight? Overweight pets are very common. A trained vet can evaluate their body condition score and recommend diet changes or supplements. You might not guess that a lot of joint pain is caused by too much weight.

Ears – Dogs can have ear infections for a while before owners will notice. They can go from annoying to very painful quickly. Knowing what to look for is key.

Abdomen – Veterinarians know exactly how big an organ should be and where it should be. When they check into this, they also will check for abnormal reactions. They might suggest diagnostics to further determine conditions. This could very well prevent and/or detect a potentially life-threatening problem.

Lymph Nodes – Just like with humans, swollen lymph nodes can indicate disease. Veterinarians know their locations and what a normal lymph node feels like.

Temperature – The pets will get their temperature taken. A fever might mean they are fighting a bug. It’s important to know this because giving them a vaccine can overload the immune system and lessen their fighting chances.

Eyes – Animals experience changes just like we do when it comes to eyes. Vision loss can seem inevitable, but there are treatments that can postpone this situation when detected early.

Lungs & Heart – Veterinarians will use a stethoscope to listen for abnormalities. They will also take a few measurements to make sure everything is normal.

Mouth – Don’t feel bad if you don’t brush your pet’s teeth. Though it is something we all should do, it rarely happens. Dental disease is the most common condition in pet care. Your vet can give you pointers in what works best.

Lumps – Pets will often develop bumps and lumps. Some are concerning, others not. Knowing which ones are is key to preventative care.

The Bottom Line with Pet Exams

Just like us, animals have a lot of medical considerations evaluated during thier pet exams. As owners, we can do everything in our power to give them the best quality of life, but when it comes to their health, it is best referred to a trusted professional. Most of us don’t know how to check lymph nodes or even own a stethoscope. Veterinarians have studied and trained for the moment your pet comes through their door. Give them the chance to give your pet the care they deserve. Haven’t found a trusted veterinarian yet? Schedule an appointment with us for a first visit! We’ll treat your pets as our own.