Your pet can benefit greatly from regular preventive examinations (also known as wellness exams or checkups). Whether your pet is a youngster, a “senior citizen,” or any age in between, preventive examinations provide an excellent opportunity for us to conduct a thorough physical examination and develop a health profile for your pet. This information will help us identify medical problems and any other issues that can affect your pet’s health and quality of life. Immunization schedules are based on the most current research and individual risk factors for disease. We routinely test for the most common internal parasites and stress the need for adequate prevention of heartworms and intestinal parasites in all pets. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends annual wellness exams at a minimum, and as your pet ages, they suggest an increase in the frequency of visits. We at Oxford Veterinary Hospital believe strongly in preventive care and have developed wellness protocols for every stage of your pet’s life.
A preventive examination includes an evaluation of all of your pet’s major organ systems. We’ll use the preventive visit to ask you questions about your pet’s behavior, appetite, exercise habits, and regular activities at home. This is also an excellent time for us to discuss any routine diagnostic testing that may benefit your pet or to recommend any vaccinations that may be due. If your pet seems healthy, a preventive examination gives us the opportunity to analyze and record baseline values, such as temperature, body condition, and lab work. We measure these when your pet is healthy, to provide better care in the event of illness or emergency. A dental health exam and a weight check are always important parts of a wellness exam and may indicate problems that can progress rapidly and can have a significant impact on your pet’s overall health. Early detection and correction of medical problems will help to ensure that your pet will love a long, healthy and active life.
A preventive examination is also your chance to have us address your questions or concerns about your pet. We welcome your questions. No question is too small or too silly, and it is our pleasure to address your concerns. We strive to help you understand your pet’s health considerations, and we encourage you to be involved in decisions regarding your pet’s health care.
Finally, preventive examinations help us establish a relationship with you and your pet. Through your pet’s physical examinations, other wellness procedures, and our consultations with you, we get to know your pet and learn about his or her lifestyle, personality, health risks, home environment, and other relevant information. We encourage you to use preventive examinations to take an active role in your pet’s health care.
At Oxford Veterinary Hospital, we recommend a routine physical exam be done annually for dogs and cats under the age of 7 years. Around the age of 7 most dogs and cats are considered Senior Pets, and we recommend a physical exam for them every six months.