Responsible pet owners know that their furry, feathered, and scaled friends need to be seen by the veterinarian regularly – after all, those vaccinations are pretty important! 

Pet wellness examinations are about so much more than shots, however. Getting to know your pet through a detailed health history, physical examination, and diagnostic testing is an essential part of keeping your pet’s healthy for years to come.

The Basics

Establishing good habits early on in your pet’s life makes it easier to keep up with their well being for the long term. This is true for all pets, including exotics. 

Pets age much more quickly than humans, which is why adhering to your pet’s scheduled wellness visits is so important. We recommend bringing your pet in for a wellness exam once per year until they reach about age 6 or 7, after which twice per year is advised.

In a pet wellness exam, the following areas of pet health are assessed:

  • Nose-to-tail physical exam – Your veterinarian will evaluate your pet’s ears, mouth, lymph nodes, heart, lungs, abdomen, and musculoskeletal system at each visit. 
  • Dental health – The majority of pets have some form of dental disease by the time they reach age 3. Untreated dental disease can have serious health consequences for your pet, which is why your pet’s oral health is assessed and discussed at each wellness visit.
  • Nutrition/weight management – Maintaining an ideal weight for your pet through proper nutrition and exercise is an important part of pet wellness. Sudden weight changes can also indicate underlying health problems.
  • Disease prevention – Vaccinations and parasite prevention are crucial to your pet’s long term health. Your veterinarian may also recommend certain diagnostic disease testing, such as fecal testing, bloodwork, or urinalysis.
  • Behavioral concerns – Your pet’s wellness exam is the perfect time to bring up any issues or areas of concern you have regarding your pet’s behavior or personality. Nipping problems in the bud will reduce stress for both you and your pet, and lead to a happier, healthier life.
  • General monitoring – Age, size, and breed all predispose pets to certain health problems. Seeing your pet regularly will enable your veterinarian to catch and treat these problems as they arise.

Pet Wellness at Home

Your daily, weekly, and monthly pet care routines are the backbone of pet wellness. You know your pet best, and your careful observations of any “off” behaviors, personality changes, lumps, bumps, or anything else out-of-the-ordinary can give us a head start in diagnosing a problem.

At Shiloh Veterinary Hospital, we care deeply about all of our pet patients. If you need help getting into a pet wellness routine, please contact us. We are here for you!