Meet Rascal, in 2002 at the age of 5 Rascal went in for his Annual Health Exam. He wasn’t due for any vaccinations and it had been just a year since his last health assessment. On his exam, his Doctor noted he had lost a little bit of weight and possibly had small kidneys on palpation. She recommended a full blood screen, including urinalysis. His owner hadn’t noticed any troubles at home however proceeded with the recommended tests. Thank goodness she did; Rascal had very early kidney disease! Adjustments were made to his diet and blood work a month later showed improvement. Early detection, before clinical signs were present, enabled Rascals family to manage him for another 10 years on diet alone! In fact, it wasn’t kidney disease that finally took Rascal from his family in 2013, but cancer.
We share this story to stress the importance of the Annual Health Exam for your pet. We as pet owners may miss the very subtle changes in our pets that may be the sign of emerging problems. For example that 100-gram weight loss, slight increase in urination, filling the water bowl a bit more (especially missed in the multi pet house). Rascal was actually a staff member’s pet who’s missed the subtle signs because they were so gradual.
On physical exam we are listening to your pets’ heart and lung sounds, making sure there are no changes in sound or rhythms or signs of murmurs, we check eyes looking for cataracts or signs of other disease, we check the mouth for dental disease, feel for lumps and bumps in the body as well as on the surface. We combine this with asking questions to get a thorough history from you, to finish your pets’ health assessment.
It is only by early detection that problems can be quickly addressed and prevented from being bigger issues and/or a disease process slowed to help with longevity - 365 days to a pet equals 7 years and a lot can change in that time frame.
Let us help ensure your pet is as healthy on the inside as you want them to be!