What is involved in a dog wellness exam?

A dog wellness exam is essentially a physical exam. We conduct a thorough check-up of your dog, from nose to toes. We inspect ears, eyes, mouth, coat, and skin. The aim is to identify what's normal and what could potentially be abnormal. Many pet owners might overlook certain aspects of their dog's health because they're not conducting a full physical exam. That's where we come in. During a wellness exam, we look at all these aspects, find anything that's out of the ordinary and address it.

Dr. Rebecca McIntosh
Loch Haven Veterinary Hospital

How often should I bring my pet in for a wellness exam?

For younger pets or puppies, we recommend more frequent visits as they are growing, and we want to ensure they're developing properly. Adult dogs, typically between the ages of one to five, should come in at least once a year. Remember, a dog year is equivalent to about ten human years. For our older or geriatric dogs, we recommend bringing them in every six months due to their accelerated aging process.

Will additional testing be needed beyond a wellness exam?

Yes, the exam is just the beginning. We start by inspecting the outside, but we can't see what's happening on the inside. That's where blood work comes into play. We check liver and kidney function to ensure everything is normal. Having a benchmark of your dog's normal health parameters can be incredibly valuable when dealing with illness or health issues.

What are some dog wellness recommendations my vet is likely to make?

We primarily focus on diet and dental health. Ensuring your dog is eating the right food and maintaining a healthy weight is crucial. We also check teeth as about 80% of dogs have some dental disease by the age of one. In addition, we assess whether your dog needs more or less bathing and exercise.

What are some possible environmental factors that can affect dog wellness?

Allergies are a common issue, especially for dogs in certain environments. Skin and ear infections can also be a problem. Dogs that spend a lot of time outside, get groomed regularly, or visit dog parks are at a higher risk of getting sick.

Why is early detection of health issues in my dog so important?

Early detection of health issues is crucial because it allows us to start treatment sooner. This can result in a better quality of life and potentially more time with your pet.

What is geriatric dog screening?

Geriatric dog screening involves more frequent check-ups and blood work as older dogs age faster. And when they age faster, we want to know what's going on. So again, We do more blood work.

We see them more often. We wanna make sure that they're not painful, with chronic conditions like arthritis. Nine times out of ten, we do find something, and then we're monitoring that illness or issue over a period of time. So we do tend to see those guys more often.

Vaccines are a big deal with our younger dogs, with our older dogs. We have to make that decision on do we vaccinate more? Do we vaccinate less because your immune system may not be as healthy.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (407) 896-0941, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram

Dog Wellness Exams - FAQs 1

Dr. Rebecca McIntosh
Loch Haven Veterinary Hospital

What does a veterinarian look for during a dog wellness exam?

A dog wellness exam involves a full physical examination. The vet will examine your dog from nose to tail, checking their skin, coat, eyes, ears, mouth, and teeth. The aim is to make sure everything looks normal on the outside. The vet also checks to ensure your dog is moving around normally and doesn't appear to be in pain.

What do I need to bring to a wellness exam?

For a wellness exam, you should bring your dog and a stool sample. The stool sample helps the vet check for any internal issues without causing discomfort to your dog. In addition to these, bring any questions you may have about your dog's health.

Are wellness exams for dogs optional?

No, wellness exams are crucial for your dog's health. It is recommended to have at least one wellness exam per year as dogs age faster than humans. Regular exams can help detect any hidden issues early, thereby prolonging your dog's quality of life.

How long do dog wellness exams usually take?

The duration of a wellness exam can vary depending on your dog's health condition. If your dog is healthy and only requires vaccinations, the exam will be shorter. However, if your dog has a health issue that needs addressing, the exam might take longer.

How do dog wellness exams influence subsequent treatments?

The findings of a wellness exam can help determine the course of future treatments. If a problem is detected, such as an ear infection or chronic skin problems, it might necessitate more frequent visits and treatments.

What are baseline diagnostic tests and how do they help my dog?

Just like in people, we're looking for your dog’s “normals” So normals in dogs are based on an average population of dogs have this number for their kidney values or their liver values, when they're healthy. Your dog may be on one side of the spectrum or the other, but we need to know what your dog's healthy looks like.

So from the outside, from the inside, blood work, stool sample checks, and that physical exam is really important, but If we know what they look like when they're normal if they get sick, we have something to compare to. If your dog generally has an elevated liver value, that's not bothering it, that's not a problem. We don't know that if we never check it. If we are, looking for parasites and we didn't know that they had something, we don't know if we don't check..

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (407) 896-0941, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram

Dog Wellness Exams - FAQs 2

Dr. Rebecca McIntosh
Loch Haven Veterinary Hospital

What can I do to maximize dog wellness at home?

Helping your dog stay well at home really revolves around knowing what normal looks like for your dog. Checking their paws, ears, eyes, skin, and coat, and being able to distinguish between normal and abnormal is important. It helps you get in at the right time to ensure minimal problems. Handling exercises, such as getting your dog comfortable with touch, especially around their feet, face, and ears, are also crucial. This makes vet visits less stressful for them.

What can I do to provide my dog with the best nutrition possible?

Nutrition is important. Make sure to use dog foods specifically formulated for your dog's particular condition or life stage. Puppies need puppy food, adult dogs need adult food, senior dogs need foods made for them. It's beneficial to use brands that have a veterinarian on staff to ensure that the dog foods have been tested, checked, and formulated for what your dog needs.

Are there health issues I can watch out for at home?

Yes. Knowing what normal looks like for your dog makes it easier to detect abnormalities. Signs to watch out for include hair loss, excessive licking or chewing at one spot, limping, or unusual head shaking. Paying attention to your dog's behavior and how they normally look helps you spot issues early. It's always better to bring them in for a check-up even if you're unsure if there's an issue.

How do I know if my puppy or dog isn't feeling well or is in pain?

Knowing your dog's normal behavior is key. Any behavior out of the ordinary is always a reason to bring them in or call your vet.

How can I keep my dog from becoming overweight?

Overweight in dogs is a significant issue, and often, it's due to us overfeeding them. It's important to know your dog's ideal weight, make sure you can feel their ribs, and see a waist. You should also know exactly how much food they should get in a day. If you're giving them extra treats and they're overweight, it's essential to account for that in their diet.

How important is regular exercise to dog wellness?

Regular exercise is crucial not just for their bodies but also for their brains. Some dogs are bred to do jobs and can get bored without tasks. Exercise keeps their muscles and joints healthy and their brain engaged. They get to experience new smells, see people, and possibly interact with other dogs. All these contribute to keeping your dog happy and healthy.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (407) 896-0941, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram