Regular wellness exams and preventive healthcare, like vaccinations, urine tests, fecal screening, organ function screening, and parasite preventives, play a crucial role in helping to keep your pet healthy. At Watzin Veterinary Clinic, we don’t want to wait until something’s wrong if we can catch diseases early, when they may be easier to treat or manage.
That’s why your veterinarian asks you to bring your pet in for regular wellness visits every 6 months. By being proactive, we can sometimes prevent certain conditions or illnesses in the first place.
When you choose to enroll your pet in our Adult or Senior Early Detection & Wellness Plans, you’ll not only get your pet’s annual comprehensive examination included, but also an additional 3 free physical examinations for your covered pet, in case he or she needs medical attention during the year. (The Wellness Plan is valid for 1 calendar year from the purchase date.)
Core vaccinations and preventive diagnostics such as wellness blood work, a urinalysis, and fecal screening are included, along with a complimentary nail trim for your covered dog or cat.
Pets tend to be very good at hiding signs of disease, which is why bringing them in regularly for veterinary exams is essential.
The Adult Years
We recommend that your veterinarian sees your adult pets once a year for their comprehensive annual wellness examination and vaccinations, in addition to a semi-annual check-up. During the annual visit, we’ll:
- Perform a thorough physical examination of your pet
- Administer required vaccines to help provide your pet with continued protection against serious, highly contagious, and potentially deadly diseases
- Recommend additional vaccines to help protect against diseases that your individual pet may be at risk for because of lifestyle, risk of exposure, and other factors
- Check for intestinal parasites (we will ask you to bring your pet’s fecal sample!)
- Ensure your pet remains free of ticks and fleas
- Check blood work as needed for heartworm disease and Lyme disease
- Run blood work and other screening tests to create baseline profiles that will give us a starting point for your pet’s overall health (during your pet’s comprehensive annual exam); these tests also help us detect any potential medical issues early on, before your pet is showing symptoms
- Examine your pet’s mouth and teeth and recommend any dental care that’s needed
- Discuss any behavioural concerns or questions you have about your pet
- Assess and discuss your pet’s diet and make personal recommendations based on your pet’s history, physical exam, and lifestyle
Before your pet’s annual wellness examination, we ask that you complete the Canine Annual Physical Questionnaire or Feline Annual Physical Questionnaire. Your answers will provide us with a better picture of your pet’s current lifestyle, diet, and environment. This will help your veterinarian personalize recommendations to your individual dog or cat.
Regular testing, including blood work, urinalysis, and fecal screening, can help us identify any hidden diseases or health conditions.
The Senior Years
Once pets start to move into their senior years (generally around 7 years of age for most pets, however sometimes earlier for larger dogs), our Senior Wellness screening visits continue to help us detect any potential health issues, like arthritis or dental disease that may become more common as pets age. We’ll also check your senior pet for cancer, tumours, and any dental, eye, or ear issues. In addition, we’ll screen for kidney, liver, and heart disease, as well as diabetes, thyroid disease, urinary tract disease, and more.
Remember that pets age far faster than we do, which is why we want to catch and start treating any diseases as early as possible. Early diagnosis can not only provide us with an early, more affordable start on treatment but can also give your pet a better quality of life.
In many cases, wellness screening may reveal that your pet is healthy, which is great for your peace of mind.
Pets With Chronic Conditions
Dogs and cats who have a chronic disease or are on regular medications often need more frequent veterinary visits. These visits allow us to check blood work and monitor your pet’s condition or disease. This care will enable your veterinarian to prescribe crucial medication or recommend other adjustments as needed.
Why Do Adult and Senior Pets Need Vaccines?
Although diseases such as parvovirus and distemper may be thought of as only effecting puppies and kittens, the truth is that pets need boosters for certain vaccines at regular intervals throughout their life to ensure that they stay adequately protected. This is the case for several reasons:
- A pet’s level of immunity to specific diseases decreases over time, based on how long vaccines remain protective.
- Other vaccines don’t provide pets with long-term immunity, so these vaccines need to be given more frequently.
- As pets age, their immune system tends to decline, so vaccinations can help boost an older pet’s immunity.
As part of our Adult or Senior Early Detection & Wellness Plans, your pet will receive the core canine or feline vaccines (those that are considered essential for all dogs or cats). Some of these core vaccines are given together, as a combination vaccine, which minimizes the number of vaccinations your dog or cat will receive at a time. We may also recommend additional vaccines, as mentioned above.
What’s in a Wellness Exam for You?
Besides playing a crucial role in helping to keep your pet healthy throughout life, regular wellness exams give you the opportunity to:
- Ask us about any questions or concerns you might have
- Bring up anything you’ve noticed that seems different with your pet, like a behaviour that’s new or a lump or bump you hadn’t noticed before
Proactive Pet Care
Of course, if you have any concerns about your dog or cat’s health, please don’t wait for your pet’s regular exam. Contact us right away!