The Healthy Examination is also called the Wellness Exam, and it seems to be a bit of a misnomer. Why bring your pets to the veterinarian if they are ‘healthy’?
Establishing what is normal for your pet is one of the most important assessments we can do. This is the time to talk about day to day routines, such as behavior and appetite, exercise and sleep patterns.
This is the opportunity to check and measure baselines for your pet. Having detailed records about this visit helps us immensely should your pet get ill. Small changes in attitude and behavior are much easier to notice if you have a previously normal description to compare to.
At Colborne Street Pet Hospital we recommend yearly check-ups for all adult patients and twice yearly exams for seniors. We allocate a half hour with the doctor which gives her the time to chat about behavior and daily routines, as well as doing the nose to tail physical. Then she will have specific recommendations and information tailor-made for your situation.
Vaccinations and other services
Final results of the healthy exam include vaccination recommendations, suggestions for diet and exercise, and gearing up for dental health. Vaccinations are an important part of preventative health care, but they must be specifically selected depending on the pet’s lifestyle and risk factors. Most of our adult patients are on an every 3-year vaccine schedule, but it could be more or less frequent than that depending on the situation. Nail trims, ear mite checks and anal gland expression (if needed) are all included in our health exams. Parasite identification and prevention is addressed. Finally, all the results and recommendations are written down for you on a ‘report card’ that you can take home to refer to.
We can extend the value of the healthy exam by adding in optional tests. A yearly fecal test is important not only to check for parasites, but also as a non-specific marker of your pet’s immune system. Baseline blood work tests give us that all-important normal snapshot of results at this point in time. Routine yearly tests help us identify trends, even if the numbers are within normal limits. Should your pet get ill, having healthy results to refer to makes abnormal values more meaningful. Microchipping is another option to consider. It can be done during a health exam, and provides permanent identification should your pet get lost without a collar.
Puppy and Kitten Examinations
As with our adult exams, we book half an hour of time with the doctor. She will discuss behavior, feeding, training, and general expectations at this age. The full exam includes pedicure, ear mite checks and trimming hair around the eyes (if needed). We will demonstrate nail trims, dental care and general grooming maintenance so that you will be able to accomplish this at home. The fecal test charge includes two free follow ups stool checks, which means you’ll get three tests for the price of one done over a two month time frame. That enables the identification of a parasite infection as soon as it is detectable. On their first visit, all our young patients get a toy and a picture that goes on our welcome wall. The photos are also posted to our New Friends Gallery and our Facebook page .
Once they get a clean bill of health, we will discuss which vaccines are needed and appropriate for your new addition. Some of these vaccines will need at least one booster a month later. For small dogs under 15 lbs, we never give two vaccine injections in one day. Those patients have their vaccinations split up and given separately after a two week interval. There is no additional charge for this, and it is our way of making sure our vaccination protocol is as safe as possible.