What To Expect at a Pet Health Screening

Dog in veterinary clinic with vet

A pet health screening is one of the most important elements of an overall health care routine for your little friend. Just like people, animals can develop various health issues. These issues can be related to age, trauma, infection, poison, and various others. It’s not always easy to determine what the cause of some of these conditions are, but they can arise nonetheless. Often, the best course of action is one that encourages prevention, active personal participation, and routine pet check-ups with the veterinarian.


There are still plenty of people who believe that pets are versatile enough to be left to their own natural instincts and processes, able to handle anything that comes up. This, however, is far from the truth. When an animal gets ill, injured, or is in a state of stress, they are just as prone to serious complications as one could expect. If you want to ensure your cherished pet is taken care of and is free of unnecessary problems, if you haven’t already, schedule a friendly health screening with our vet. If you’re unsure what to expect, let’s have a quick look at a standard screening process.


The Pet Health Screening – Your Gateway To Prevention

A standard pet health screening is comprised of about ten checkpoints that our vet will perform, in no particular order, that allows them to assess the overall health of your pet. This includes everything from a simple visual observation of their coat to more hands-on elements like a rectal exam. None of the procedures are cause for concern and are in place to ensure your pet is in top shape.


The Visual Exam

The first thing our vet will likely begin with is a visual examination (although each vet is different, don’t fret if they follow a different order). During a visual examination, our vet will assess the overall appearance and alertness of your pet. Most healthy animals are bright, energetic, and responsive to stimuli. If not, this can be a sign that something is requiring attention.


Next is observing gait, skin, coat, and bodily constitution. This is looking for various markers that can indicate challenges such as hip dysplasia, fleas, hair loss, and other potential challenges.


The Physical Exam

With the visual exam completed, a physical exam takes a more hands-on approach. This begins with various measurements, such as body weight, temperature, heart rate, breathing rate, and capillary refill time. The vet will examine the eyes, ears, nose, and oral cavity as well, making sure to look for anything concerning. A full body palpation will then ensue (kind of like petting) that is looking for lymphatic inflammation, lumps, cysts, hot spots, or other markers of distress. The abdomen will also be checked for swelling and other issues. Finally, the vet will listen to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope.


The Rectal Exam

This is especially important for middle-aged and senior dogs. They are looking for any abnormal growths, prostate challenges, stool health, and gland health. This does not hurt or harm your pet and is part of a standard procedure.


Final Thoughts

As your pet ages, it becomes increasingly important to attend a regularly scheduled pet health screening. Collaboration with our vet will help to ensure you have the best possible chance of a long and fruitful experience with your healthy pet. The process is fast, simple, and able to detect early sign of disease or illness before it gets out of hand. Contact us and talk to our vet today to ask about a pet health screening routine for your little friend.