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Why Pets Need an Annual Wellness Exam

A pet wellness exam is a medical examination that veterinarians use to check the health of pets. It helps in the early detection of diseases and conditions. This ensures a healthy life for your pet. The average pet ages at the rate of five to seven years for every human year. This means that taking your pet to the vet annually is equivalent to you seeing your doctor every five to seven years.

 

Research by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) shows that while cases of preventable pet diseases are increasing, visits to the vet are decreasing. We all know that pets cannot talk, so they cannot communicate to us when they are ill. When they are unwell, they usually try to hide their illness. But wellness exams reveal any health challenges your pet could be experiencing.

 

Importance of Wellness Exams


 

Diseases are not only expensive to treat but also life-threatening. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A head to tail check, vaccinations, routine deworming, and heartworm prevention are some of the components or recommendations during a wellness exams. These can help ensure that your pet stays healthy, and in turn, save you money. 

 

Here are some of the components of a pet wellness exam and their benefits to your pet.

 

Vaccination


 

Your pet should receive their core vaccinations unless they have a history of reaction to the vaccine or an autoimmune disease. In dogs, rabies vaccination is core. There are also non-core vaccinations. These are highly recommended when your pet is at risk of exposure to a certain disease. Generally, vaccinations help prevent otherwise life-threatening diseases. Scheduling vaccinations for the same day as a wellness exam can save on trips to the vet office.

 

Screening


 

Screening is important, and especially for older pets. Bloodwork, urinalysis, and sometimes radiographs help with the early detection of diseases. These diseases include kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, and other diseases. They are more frequent in older animals. Some animals are already on medication. Screening helps determine your pet's condition and confirm if the medication needs adjustment. Some of these tests may not be necessary for your pet, therefore not part of the wellness exam itself, but discussed as recommendations during the appointment if applicable.

 

Routine Deworming


 

Your vet in Santa Teresa, NM will determine the best protocol for the prevention and control of parasites for your pet. The protocol considers factors like the pet’s age, whether it is on a heartworm preventative, and previous parasitic infection. Also, do not forget to protect against external parasites like fleas and ticks. These are disease carriers and can cause anemia.

 

Heartworm Prevention


 

Before prescribing heartworm prevention measures, your vet at El Abrigado Animal Clinic will check your pet for heartworm infection. After that, annual testing allows for early detection and treatment of the disease.

 

Nutrition


 

Any changes in thirst, appetite, type and amount of food are important to discuss with your vet. This is because they contribute to your pet’s weight gain or weight loss. Your vet can also recommend supplements. However, be careful not to put your pet on a supplement without discussing it with your vet.

 

With the average lifespan of most pets being about 14 years, owners must take them for wellness exams at least once every year. For pets over nine years, they should have at least two appointments with the vet every year. 



 

For more information on pet annual wellness exams or to schedule an appointment, call El Abrigado Animal Clinic in Santa Teresa, New Mexico at 575-589-1818 today.

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