Helping Your Pet Live a Healthy Life
Routine wellness exams and parasite testing are an important part of your pet’s healthcare plan. Annual pet exams help us determine a baseline of health and build a comprehensive medical history. This baseline allows us to notice small changes and abnormalities. At Lincoln Square Animal Hospital, we recommend yearly wellness exams, along with vaccines and fecal testing.
Dog and Cat Wellness Exams
We begin your pet’s exam with a nose-to-tail physical. We check your pet’s weight, heart rate, eyes, ears, teeth, joints, coat, etc. for any changes. We will also want to test your pet’s blood and stool for signs of heartworm and intestinal parasites.
Your pet’s wellness visit is the perfect time to bring up any concerns you have about your companion. Whether these concerns are about physical health, mental health, or behavioral issues, we will address them and help you find a solution.
Our Pet Wellness Care Services
We provide the following wellness services:
— Physical exam
— Fecal testing
— Dietary counseling
— Radiographs (X-rays)
— Electrocardiogram (primarily for senior pets)
— Ultrasound (primarily for senior pets)
Why Wellness Exams Are Even More Important for Your Senior Pet
As your pet ages, the risk of health issues rises. Issues like kidney and heart problems are common in older pets, but by the time you notice symptoms, your dog or cat may already be seriously ill. A senior pet wellness screen is an excellent tool for early detection of changes in your pet’s health. And early detection means more effective and less costly treatment, or even lifestyle modifications can keep your pet healthy.
Senior Wellness Exams at Lincoln Square Animal Hospital
We encourage senior wellness exams at Lincoln Square Animal Hospital because it’s far easier, on you and your pet, to maintain health than to restore it once illness has set in. Regular wellness screens are crucial to maintaining quality of life for your older pet.
Our senior wellness exams for cats typically include the following:
- Physical Exam
- Blood Pressure
- Abdominal Ultrasound (when necessary)
- X-Rays (when necessary)
Our senior wellness exams for dogs typically include the following:
- Physical Exam
- Blood Pressure (when necessary)
- X-Rays (when necessary)
We may recommend additional tests based on your pet’s exam and the results of the above testing.
Additional Information about Senior Wellness Checkups
Dr. Karen Becker with Mercola Healthy Pets describes the following components of senior wellness testing.
Physical examination – A physical exam is a critically important part of the senior wellness checkup. All body systems are assessed to check for any abnormalities. During the physical exam, your pet’s weight, muscle tone, and joint range of motion are checked to measure current status against past exam findings, as well as norms for the breed, age, and gender.
Blood chemistry tests – Blood chemistry evaluates your pet’s organ function, electrolyte status, hormone levels, and more. Blood chemistry results help in diagnosing diseases such as diabetes, and liver and kidney failure.
Complete blood count (CBC) – The CBC gives information on hydration status, anemia, infection, the blood’s clotting ability, and immune system status. It provides a close look at the blood itself and can show problems such as anemia or infection.
Urinalysis – A urinalysis is used to check the overall health of your pet’s urinary tract, including the kidneys and bladder. It also provides information about glucose regulation and liver function. A complete urinalysis tells us about your pet’s metabolic and fluid status and identifies substances in the urine that could indicate an underlying disease.
Thyroid screen – The thyroid screen helps diagnose thyroid disease, which is a common ailment in older cats and dogs. Decreased levels of thyroid hormones often signal hypothyroidism in dogs. High levels of thyroid hormones indicate hyperthyroidism, which is commonly diagnosed in cats.
Glaucoma screen – Glaucoma testing measures the pressure in each of your pet’s eyes. It’s a quick and painless test that is important because undetected glaucoma can lead to permanent blindness.
Retinal exam – This eye test checks for bleeding, degeneration, inflammation, or detachment of the retina in the eyes.
Blood pressure measurement – This test checks your pet for hypertension (high blood pressure). Like humans, pets with hypertension are more prone to kidney problems, heart disease, blindness, and other complications.
X-rays – X-rays may also be useful for senior pet wellness exams. For example, heart and lung issues can be revealed with a chest x-ray. The liver and kidneys can be evaluated with an abdominal x-ray.
Diet and Supplement Review
Good nutrition lays the foundation for good health for pets of all ages. So, during your pet’s wellness exam, we will ask questions about the type of diet your pet is eating. We will also ask if there have been any changes in appetite and if you’ve noticed any signs of food sensitivities.
According to Dr. Karen Becker with Mercola Healthy Pets, studies show that older pets need more protein to maintain muscle mass and good organ and immune function. She recommends a balanced, fresh, and whole food diet for healthy pets of all ages. Dr. Becker is also a supporter of raw food made with organic, non-GMO ingredients. Finally, she indicates a diet that restricts phosphorus or sodium intake may be appropriate for some senior pets. Please feel free to discuss dietary options with us to determine what’s best for your pet.
During wellness checkups, please let us know of any supplements you’re giving your pet. We may also suggest specific supplements based on recent diagnostic test results, your pet’s physical exam, and any concerns you have regarding your pet’s health or behavior.
More Pet Wellness Information
Check out the links below for additional information about keeping your companion well.
Your Older Pet’s Special Needs and How to Meet Them – Mercola Healthy Pets, retrieved from https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/10/07/senior-pet-wellness-checkups.aspx
Wellness Screens for Senior Pets – dvm360, retrieved from http://veterinarybusiness.dvm360.com/wellness-screens-senior-pets