We all wish our pets could live forever, and while that’s impossible, you can increase their quality and quantity of life by taking charge of their health and ensuring they receive annual wellness screenings. Our team at Liberty Veterinary Hospital wants to emphasize the importance of these evaluations for your pet.
Regular wellness screenings protect pets from disease
The best treatment is always prevention, and regular veterinary screenings safeguard pets against many preventable diseases. Strategies include:
- Vaccinations — Vaccines strengthen the immune system and protect your pet against contagious—potentially deadly—pet diseases, including parvovirus in dogs, panleukopenia in cats, and public health threats, such as the rabies virus.
- Heartworm prevention — A year-round heartworm prevention regimen protects your pet against deadly heartworm disease.
- Flea and tick prevention — Fleas can make pets miserable with itchiness and sores that result from constant scratching, and can cause anemia in a puppy or kitten with a severe flea infestation. Ticks can transmit debilitating conditions, such as Lyme disease, tick paralysis, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. However, all these problems are easily preventable with a year-round prevention plan.
- Weight management — Maintaining a healthy weight can add years to your pet’s life, and reduce their risk for cancer, orthopedic issues, heart disease, and arthritis.
- Home care — Performing routine tasks, such as toothbrushing, ear cleaning, and basic grooming, at home can help keep your pet healthy and happy. Our veterinary team can show you how to perform these tasks.
Regular wellness screenings can detect pet diseases earlier
Don’t wait until your pet shows obvious illness signs before you visit the veterinarian. Pets, like their ancestors, still instinctually hide pain and illness signs, which means problems are not discovered until they are advanced, and are not only much harder to treat or manage but also affect the prognosis. Wellness screening tests offer early detection may include:
- Physical exam
- Fecal exam
- Tick-borne and heartworm disease test
- Blood work, including a complete blood count and blood chemistry panel
- Blood pressure
Regular wellness screenings set young pets up for success
The first year of your pet’s life is a critical developmental period and their overall health care, vaccinations, and screenings during their wellness exams will set the foundation for a long, healthy, and happy life. These visits also allow your veterinarian to get to know your pet’s personality and temperament, establish a health baseline, and create a custom management plan that they will adjust as your pet grows. Puppies and kittens should have three to four wellness exams between the ages of 8 to 16 weeks.
Regular wellness screenings keep adult pets healthy
Regular wellness exams continue to play an important role in your pet’s health.
When your veterinarian sees your adult pet for their annual wellness exam, they will look for subtle illness signs and compare their test results with the baseline values established at previous screenings. An adult pet’s wellness screening includes a nose-to-tail exam and assesses your pet’s:
- Mouth, teeth, and throat
- Vision and eyes
- Ears—for infection, ear mites, allergic reactions, and other issues
- Respiratory system
- Lymph nodes
- Body condition score (BCS) and weight, activity level, and appetite
- Joints and muscles—for arthritis and other orthopedic conditions
- Intestinal parasites, heartworm disease, and tick-borne disease testing
- Blood work—to create a baseline should your pet become ill between wellness visits
Regular wellness screenings support aging pets
When your pet reaches their senior years, prioritizing their wellness, monitoring their health, and ensuring they maintain a good quality of life is most important. Senior pets need twice yearly preventive care tailored to their age, breed, health, and lifestyle to help detect and prevent common diseases at early and easily treatable stages. Senior pets are at high risk for many serious conditions, including:
- Kidney and liver failure
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Endocrine disorders
- Cognitive dysfunction
Your pet’s annual wellness visit is a comprehensive look at their wellbeing and proactive prevention against life-threatening infections and diseases. Ensure your pet is living their happiest and healthiest life and receiving the quality care they deserve. Start the New Year by scheduling your pet’s next wellness screening with our Liberty Veterinary Hospital team.