Now that many routine vaccines are only needed every three years for your pet, the importance of wellness exams between vaccination appointments has become more essential than ever. Cats and dogs age at a much faster rate than their human owners, making 1 calendar year equivalent to 5-10 years of life for your pet (depending on the pet’s size and breed). For this reason, Kipling Veterinary Hospital and Wellness Center strongly advises quarterly wellness exams in our patients over 6 years of age and three yearly in our patients under 6 years of age.
These visits include a thorough history, physical examination, guidance on caring for your pet and any necessary age-based diagnostic and screening tests to catch diseases early and prevent other diseases entirely. For instance, kidney insufficiency can often be caught early with a urinalysis and bloodwork, before your pet ever shows signs of illness. This allows us to institute treatments and a special diet that can greatly prolong your pet’s life and keep their quality of life excellent for as long as possible. Dental disease can be addressed before your pet requires a more aggressive dental cleaning with numerous necessary extractions. Growths can be discovered and removed while still small, decreasing costs, recovery time, and the chances that a cancerous growth will spread. Heart problems if caught early; generally have a much better prognosis. Lymphatic cancer is very common and with an early diagnosis may have a good chance of remission. It is estimated that 13% of apparently healthy pets have an underlying problem that can be discovered through these wellness visits and appropriate screening tests.
Here is an example of age specific wellness programs for a healthy pet. Comprehensive physical exams are always done.
- Pediatrics – We will discuss: Feeding programs, exercise, activities, preventative care, toothbrushing, grooming, parasite control, behavior and safe toys. Spaying and neutering will also be addressed.
- Adults 1yr-6yrs – We will discuss all issues in the pediatric category and reinforce. We will focus strongly on tooth care, diet and exercise. Some patients will need bloodwork if dental cleaning is necessary. We will discuss why bloodwork is important.
- Mature Adult 6yrs-10yrs – We will reinforce all above issues. Now we advise annual bloodwork, a baseline urinalysis and a baseline chest/abdominal x-ray. In some pets we will recommend a baseline EKG and blood pressure.
- Senior 10yrs and Older – We will reinforce all the above issues. Now we advise bloodwork, urinalysis and blood pressure twice a year, as well as annual chest/abdominal x-rays and an EKG.
If it’s been over three months since your pet has had a wellness visit, please call us today to set up an appointment and keep your pet healthy and active for a long time to come.