Regular Health Examinations
Your pets physical exam is important!
Best Friends is dedicated to the proper care for your pet. Through education, preventive care, and careful management of medical needs, we will help you enjoy your pet for as many years as possible.
Our pets cant tell us where they hurt and they often mask their pain. A comprehensive physical exam and careful discussion with the client allow us to detect abnormalities and uncover disease. Early detection and treatment are essential to prolonging the quality of your pets life.
Many symptoms initially look harmless, but changes in weight or appetite may signal liver, kidney or heart problems. Lumps and bumps under the skin can be cancerous. Ear infections and abscessed teeth are both common and painful, but may not be obvious to owners until seriously advanced. A comprehensive physical exam is the basic tool our doctors use to evaluate your pet's health status and to help you make informed decisions about the care of your special companion.
What happens during a Comprehensive Physical Exam
A physical exam is a complete hands-on assessment of your pet's health status. During your pets exam, we first measure weight, pulse and respiration. Then your pet will be examined from head to tail while all vital organs along the way are gently palpated. Every body system is checked for disease, and the doctor assesses your pets risk for contracting preventable diseases. Throughout the exam the doctor will discuss your pet with you and listen to your concerns and questions.
During the exam, we check: eyes, ears, mouth, heart, lungs, abdomen, skin, lymph nodes, nervous system, external genitalia and gait.
Click here for What we check during a Comprehensive Physical Exam which covers the exam in much greater detail.
How often is a Comprehensive Physical Exam and Blood Screen Necessary?
Every species of animal ages at a different rate, and so does every breed of dog. Generally, large dogs age faster than small dogs. Ask your veterinarian how to plan for your individual pet's optimal life-span. Described here are the 'average' life stages for a dog or cat and our advice for basic well care management.
Year One: several thorough exams to evaluate your pets basic health, detect congenital problems, and accomplish immunization. Vaccines begin around 7-9 weeks of age and are completed at 4-5 months of age. Boosters will occur as your pet gets older.
Years 2-6: an annual comprehensive physical exam and blood screening as indicated. This helps our doctors determine your pet's 'individual normal' health rather than compare him or her to the 'average normal'.
Years 7 and Up: semi-annual exams allow us to detect and manage health problems as your pet ages. A seven-year-old pet is similar to a middle aged human, and pets age about five years for every human year. At your pet ages, organ systems begin to deteriorate. The challenge for us is to find and treat problems early so your pet can enjoy life to the fullest.
Good Health for your Pet may Include Periodic Blood Testing
Early detection and treatment is essential for your pet's long and healthy life. A Blood Chemistry Screen or Complete Blood Count can pick up a problem before it's caught on physical examination. Early detection of diabetes, kidney and liver disease, as well as metabolic imbalance, is possible with blood screening. Your veterinarian or veterinary support staff may discuss Senior Wellness Testing as part of your pets yearly physical examination. Learn more about Senior Wellness Testing.
Detecting and Managing Disease Conditions
Pets with disease conditions require more intense monitoring than healthy pets. Medical technology changes rapidly and visiting your veterinarian regularly ensures that your pet is receiving the very best and up-to-date care. Of course, a physical exam is appropriate anytime you suspect a problem. If you observe any of these signs, please call us to schedule an appointment:
|Weight gain or loss||Poor appetite|
|Stool or urine accidents||Increase in thirst or urination|
|Increase in sleep or restlessness||Bad breath|
|Fatigue||Dull, flaky hair coat|
|Breathlessness||Lumps or bumps|
|Difficulty walking or moving||Behavior change|
|Frequent vomiting||Crying or whimpering|
Recommended Schedule of Exams and Vaccines
|Feline Schedule of Exams & Vaccines||Canine Schedule of Exams & Vaccines|