What is involved in a dog wellness exam?
A dog wellness exam primarily covers a good physical exam and history—the history from the owner and the physical exam by the veterinarian and the healthcare team here.
Dr. Adam Stout
Cloverleaf Animal Hospital
How does dog wellness impact the longevity of my pet?
Well, keeping a dog healthy keeps him living longer. That's the main goal for us, the staff at hospitals keep them healthy. We want to keep them around for a long time. So that's the goal. That's how it works.
How soon should I bring my pet in to see a veterinarian for a wellness exam?
If a veterinarian has never seen them, contact a clinic, and get that set up as soon as you can. If you're a regular client and we've been seeing your pet regularly, we typically do wellness exams once a year.
Will additional testing be needed beyond a wellness exam?
Yes. Something that's not considered not part of our wellness exams, or the simple physical exam, additional testing would be a fecal/stool exam to look for parasites. For dogs, we recommend the heartworm and tick test. Depending on the age and lifestyle, we're going to be talking about preventative care, and we'll do some blood work to look at what's going on on the inside.
How will a veterinarian assess dog wellness?
We put everything together like a puzzle. We go off the history that you as an owner provide us. Then, everything down to the physical exam, we cover the heart, lungs, eyes, and ears, from nose to tail, a good, solid physical exam. We put all that together if any of those additional tests are part of that wellness exam, and then we assess how healthy your dog is today.
What are some good wellness recommendations my vet is likely to make?
You may hear us say your dog has some tartar on his teeth. We're going to recommend a dental cleaning. If there's severe dental disease, we're going to recommend extractions. If there are fleas and ticks, we will recommend products to take care of that. If we've lapsed on vaccines, we're going to recommend vaccines, such things as preventative care. This pet's getting a little older; we should run some blood work. We should check some internal organ functions and see what's going on and where we're at.
What are some possible environmental factors that can affect dog wellness?
Just things as simple as what's around in the house. Is your dog known for getting into the trash? Are there toxins around? Are there plants we need to be concerned about? Does your dog maybe get some people food that they're not supposed to have, snacks like that? Some health issues are even related to that that people don't think about. Is your dog outside? Do they run property? There are issues there that would worry people, like what they will get into. Is there any road danger? Is there a chance of getting hit by cars? So there are a lot of environmental factors.
Why is early detection of health issues in my dog so important?
Some of these diseases that are caused by intestinal parasites we can get as humans. We definitely don't want those diseases, called zoonotic diseases, to happen. Even fleas can cause issues in people. So first, we want to make sure the pet is healthy because there are some diseases that humans can get. If we find things we need to fix now, we will fix them immediately. Fleas and tick? Yes. Test on parasites? Yes. We want your pet to be nice, happy, and healthy if there are skin issues. Some of these conditions can make them miserable. There are. Early diseases, such as kidney disease, liver disease, things we may not be able to fix, but there are things that we could. If we catch early, we can extend their longevity and help them live a longer lifestyle or life if we address these now versus waiting too late.
What is geriatric dog screening?
Geriatric dog screening is just old dog screening. You may ask, "How do you know if my dog is geriatric?" It depends on the age and the breed of the dog. The older, bigger dog, like Great Danes, those dogs are geriatric earlier at a younger age than, say, that little Chihuahua. We look for things that we start to see in geriatric patients: are they losing weight? Are there early signs of arthritis? Is there a cataract starting? Are there issues that are starting now that we expect from geriatric patients that we need to deal with now to treat and prevent that and help them live a little longer and more comfortable.
Will my vet suggest allergy testing for my dog?
Typically not on a routine exam. If there are allergies, chronic skin issues, or rare GI issues, that's kind of case-specific. So yes, if you have a dog that's itching all the time and there are allergy issues, we are going to recommend some allergy testing, including environmental allergies and food allergies.
If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (330) 948-2002, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.