Just like you, we want your pet to live the longest, healthiest life possible. That starts with the basics: quality food, enough exercise, good grooming, and yes, regular check-ups.
Annual wellness exams are your pet’s first line of defense. Every wellness visit at Southwind Animal Hospital will begin with a thorough history of your pet’s health and weight with our trained veterinary assistants. Discussions about your pet’s history and daily activities can inform our staff of medical or behavioral concerns. Our veterinarians will continue with a physical examination from nose to tail that will include the following:
- Listening to the heart and lungs
- Feeling for signs of pain and evaluating for changes in gait
- Palpating for new bumps or skin infections
- Checking joints for signs of arthritis or muscle weakness
- Examining the eyes, ears, and mouth for any signs of disease
In addition to a complete physical examination, we will draw a blood sample to test for heartworm disease and a stool sample for intestinal parasites. Depending on your pet’s age and general physical condition, we may recommend a comprehensive blood panel and urine sample to evaluate internal organ health and help detect the early stages of a disease.
Our veterinarians will alert you to any abnormalities they discover and make recommendations to encourage the best health plan for your pet. Early detection of illness and treatment intervention will slow the progression of disease; thus, extending the quality and quantity of your pets’ lives. Our hospital has the capability to hospitalize pets on IV fluids, run in-house lab work, digital radiology, ultrasound and more.
Preventative care starts early: For puppies we recommend 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 weeks of age, and for kittens we recommend 6, 10, 14, 18 weeks of age for a comprehensive physical exam and to receive booster vaccinations.
While we do recommend annual visits for all adult dogs and cats, we do believe that senior animals should have twice-yearly exams and blood work. Pets age differently based on species, breed, and size, but generally speaking, most dogs are considered seniors around age 7; cats at 9. Since animals age much faster than we do, disease and illness progress more quickly, and we want to catch problems early while they’re more treatable.
Wellness exams are also important for another reason: they enable us to truly get to know you and your pet. We consider it part of our job as your pet’s health care provider to understand not only your animal companion’s physical needs but to support the bond you have with your pet. Our goal is to help your pet have as many happy, healthy years with you as possible.
To schedule an exam for your pet, give us a call at (865) 724-1040.