Professional, Total Pet Care
How Often is a Comprehensive Physical Exam and Blood Screen Necessary?
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.
THE FIRST YEAR – Begin with a thorough physical examination to evaluate your pet’s basic health and to detect congenital problems that need to be managed. Most animals are born healthy, but some pets are born with heart disease, bone abnormalities, hernias, etc. Some congenital conditions are not immediately evident, so youngsters benefit by frequent visits to their veterinarian. Young pets are especially susceptible to infectious diseases until they build up immunity. Immunization is accomplished through a series of vaccines beginning at six weeks of age, completed at four to five months of age, and followed with boosters as recommended by your doctor.
ONE-YEAR-OLD – Physiologically similar to a thirteen-year-old human teenager! A lot can change in this year, so we advise a comprehensive physical exam to reassess your pet’s health, to reevaluate life style and to be sure all preventive measures are in process.
TWO-YEAR-OLD – Similar to a young adult human in the early twenties. This is a good time to get a baseline blood profile. This is usually the peak time of a pet’s health and we want to know the normal laboratory values for your particular pet. As your pet ages, we can compare blood values over time to help assess wellness and detect problems early.
THREE TO SEVEN – We recommend an annual comprehensive physical exam and blood screen as indicated. This wellness program helps our doctors determine your pet’s physiological “individual normal,” rather than compare him/her to an “average normal.”
EIGHT TO TEN – Midlife similar to a human between forty and fifty years old. At this time, organ systems begin to deteriorate, depending on life style and genes. The challenge for us is to detect and manage health problems so pets can enjoy life to the fullest. It is wise to step up the number of exams to twice a year, since pets age about five years for every human year.
ELEVEN PLUS – Their “golden years.” We recommend semi-annual exams at a minimum. At this age, the rate of deterioration increases, but most pets will enjoy their senior years with proper management and care.
At What Other Times is a Comprehensive Physical Exam and Blood Screen Necessary?
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, up-to-date care. Of course, a physical exam is appropriate anytime you suspect a problem.
If you observe these signs, please call us to schedule an appointment:
- Weight gain or loss
- Stool or urine accidents
- Increase in sleep or restlessness
- Difficulty walking or moving
- Frequent vomiting
- Poor appetite
- Increase in thirst or urination
- Bad breath
- Dull, flaky hair coat
- Lumps & bumps
- Foul body odor
- Behavior change
- Crying or whimpering