You should not take your pet’s health lightly. Regular wellness care is key to keeping your furry pal happy and healthy for years to come. During your pet’s annual wellness exam, our Red Oak Animal Hospital team will perform many important preventive care tasks, such as:
- A nose-to-tail physical exam
- Lifestyle-appropriate vaccinations
- Intestinal parasite screening
- Vector-borne disease screening
- Early detection testing (i.e., blood work, urinalysis, blood pressure reading, X-rays)
- Recommendations on diet, grooming, behavior, and other wellness necessities
While your pet’s wellness visit may appear to you as no more than your furry pal receiving a thorough petting and massage, along with a few pokes, so much more happens behind the scenes. To learn the importance of your pet’s annual wellness visits, read our guide.
Preventing canine disease through regular vaccination
Dogs are generally social creatures and benefit from interaction with other canines who have similar play styles and personalities. Doggy daycare provides an excellent opportunity for your pooch to burn energy and socialize while you’re at work, leaving you with a happy, tired dog when you return home.
While playtime with other dogs can benefit your pet, risks are associated with close dog-dog interactions. Infectious bacterial and viral diseases spread easily when dogs are in close contact, and your pooch can contract intestinal and external parasites from an infected dog or environment.
Fortunately, regular preventive care can help keep your four-legged friend safe and healthy during playtime. Vaccinations and parasite prevention help defend your dog against infectious pathogens and parasites, while routine screening tests can identify protection gaps.
Preventing pet obesity and maintaining a healthy weight
American pets are increasingly becoming obese, with 59% of dogs and 61% of cats categorized as being overweight or obese in 2022. If your pet has a thick fur coat, you may fail to recognize that they are too heavy, or you may have become so accustomed to seeing overweight pets in the media that you think your pet’s weight is normal.
During your pet’s annual wellness visit, our Red Oak Animal Hospital team carefully assesses your furry pal’s weight and body condition. These two values indicate whether your pet is at a healthy weight, regardless of how furry they are. Based on the results, we recommend appropriate diet and exercise options to help your pet lose, gain, or maintain their weight.
By performing your pet’s regular wellness examinations, we can monitor your furry pal’s weight fluctuations and identify underlying problems that cause weight changes. For example, if your senior Labrador has been putting on the pounds despite a strict diet and daily exercise, we can test their thyroid hormone levels. If we diagnose your dog as having hypothyroidism, we can prescribe medication that boosts your pooch’s thyroid hormones and improves their metabolism, helping them to more easily shed weight.
Maintain your pet’s oral health through regular professional dental care
Dental disease is one of the most commonly diagnosed pet conditions and can cause serious systemic damage if left untreated. While many pet owners believe doggy breath is normal, your furry pal’s breath should not have a foul odor. Other often-ignored early dental disease signs include reddened gums (i.e., gingivitis) and brown, yellow, or grey plaque and tartar accumulation. In many cases, an affected pet does not receive dental care until a significant problem, such as difficulty eating or an abscess formation, has developed.
Our Red Oak Hospital team performs an oral exam as part of your furry pal’s comprehensive physical exam. We’ll be able to spot gingivitis, tartar, and other dental problems such as loose, broken, or missing teeth. While some pets will not tolerate a full oral exam, we can typically get enough of a peek to determine whether a professional dental cleaning is necessary.
In addition to daily at-home dental care, annual professional dental cleanings help preserve your pet’s oral health. Some pets require professional veterinary dental care more than one time per year, but an annual cleaning allows us to remove all plaque and tartar above and below your furry pal’s gumline, assess their oral cavity’s health, and extract diseased or damaged teeth.
Detecting your pet’s health issue before a disease becomes severe
While you may be tempted to forgo your pet’s annual wellness visit if they appear healthy, you never know whether a health problem is brewing inside. To spot disease before a condition becomes severe, we perform screening tests tailored to your pet’s age, breed, and health status during their annual visit. Through early detection and intervention, your pet receives a much better prognosis.
Although it can develop in any pet—dog or cat—at any age, chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects many senior cats. However, pets generally do not exhibit signs (e.g., excessive thirst and urination, nausea, inappetence) until their kidneys have lost about 75% of their function. With routine screening tests, such as blood chemistry panels and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) testing, our team can diagnose kidney dysfunction much sooner, and immediately implement a treatment management plan.
To help ensure your pet remains as healthy as possible, schedule their annual routine wellness appointment. Call our Red Oak Animal Hospital team to set up your furry pal’s regular preventive care.