Pet Wellness Exams
The wellness services available at Grand Rapids Veterinary Clinic have been specifically designed to keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy, year after year. From annual physical exams to customized vaccinations to routine health screenings and ongoing health maintenance, we’re here to support your companion from birth through the senior years, and every moment and milestone along the way.
Regular wellness exams allow us to evaluate your pet’s general health on an ongoing basis. When we understand what is “normal” for your pet, we are better able to measure and monitor any changes that may occur over the years. We are also able to take certain preventative measures that will help to keep your loved one safe from many of the dangers he or she will encounter throughout his or her lifetime.
We will examine your pet and establish a comprehensive preventative care program which includes customized vaccinations and a plan for parasite prevention and control. Regular preventative care exams also help us to detect many health problems so that we can address them before they have a chance to develop into more serious and costly problems for you and your pet. Preventing disease and detecting it early can add years to your loved one’s life and improve the quality of those years tenfold.
How often does my pet need a preventative care exam?
The age of your pet plays an important role in determining the wellness plan that will be the best fit. We also take into consideration your pet’s size, breed, behavior, and lifestyle when making recommendations for the most comprehensive wellness and preventative care possible. Our goal is to work together to help ensure a long healthy life for your dog or cat, and that includes developing a customized wellness care plan that is tailored specifically to your pet.
Every year that passes for a dog or cat is equivalent to five to seven human years, so it is important that your pet receives a preventative care exam at least once a year (more often for puppies and kittens or pets that have entered their senior years). Your pet’s health can change dramatically in just a short amount of time, so it’s important that he or she does not miss even one exam!
What does a wellness exam involve?
Before the vet begins a wellness check on your pet, you will be asked about any health issues or concerns you may have. Preventative care exams and discussions will be tailored to the life stage and lifestyle of your dog and cat, so it’s important that we get a clear picture of what your pet’s life is like at home.
At the beginning of each wellness exam, one of our experienced veterinary technicians or assistants will take your pet’s vital signs, similar to when you go in for a physical exam. This may include taking your pet’s temperature, pulse or heart rate, respiration (breathing) rate and body weight.
Monitoring weight is an important part of maintaining your pet’s health since changes in weight may be an indication of a potential health concern. At each preventative exam, we will give your pet a body condition score and record it in their medical record. Weight gain can also be a significant problem as it not only increases stress on the joints but also increases the risk of certain medical conditions, some of which can be quite serious. If necessary, we’ll work with you to develop a diet and exercise plan to help your pet achieve and maintain a healthier weight.
Once we’ve measured your pet’s vital signs, we will delve into a more thorough physical exam through which we will evaluate your pet’s health – nose to tail. The vet will check your companion’s ears, eyes, mouth and skin. The heart, lungs and abdominal organs will also be analyzed to ensure that no abnormalities are present and everything is working just as it should be. If necessary, we may recommend additional routine diagnostic testing to help us further evaluate your pet’s overall health.