Your pet’s annual physical examination is one of the most important ways that we can keep pets living longer, happier, healthier lives.This is the time to address concerns that you may have about your pet’s energy level, eating habits, skin/ coat, any change in urination or defecation, or any other questions you may have.
Our veterinarians will thoroughly examine your pet from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail! The exam includes checking your pet’s teeth and gums, eyes and ears, listening to their heart and lungs, palpating their abdomen, feeling their lymph nodes, checking the range of motion in the hips and other joints, and inspecting their skin and hair coat. We will also check their weight and temperature, discuss what they are eating and what type of heartworm, flea, and tick prevention they are on monthly. Our veterinarians may recommend checking additional blood work or other diagnostics if any abnormalities are found during the exam.
Performing a heartworm and fecal test is also recommended at each annual exam, even if you are sure that your pet has never missed their monthly prevention. There are many reasons for this, including variables such as being late on a dose, the chance a pet could have vomited or spit out the medication, or that topical medication may have been accidentally washed off due to swimming or bathing.
Heartworm disease is DEADLY– but preventable. Heartworms cause damage to the kidneys, lungs, blood vessels, and heart but infected animals do not show signs of illness for many years. If the infection is not screened for yearly, it is often too late for treatment by the time owners see signs the dog is sick.Parasites that are found in feces are easily spread through the environment, picked up on the animal’s paws from the ground or the litter box and ingested. Many of these parasites can be transmitted to HUMANS! Living in Florida, parasites that spread disease are here year round, but with monthly prevention and yearly testing, your pet and your family can stay healthy and happy. For more information on heartworm disease, please ask one of our veterinarians at your next appointment or visit www.heartwormsociety.org or Companion Animal Parasite Council www.petsandparasites.org.