September is Wellness Month at Sandia Animal Clinic.

Wellness exams are important parts of any pet’s healthcare regimen. While visit frequency and the tests performed may vary from pet to pet, one thing is always true: establishing a relationship with a caregiver and maintaining routine visits help keep pets in good health for as long as possible.

Why Bring Your Pet in for a Wellness Exam?

Pets often can’t or won’t let us know when they’re hurting, feeling ill, or when something’s just not right. In order to assess the state of their health, identify issues as early as possible, and do our best to prevent disease, we need to have our pets examined routinely.

As the years pass, our pets become increasingly at risk for weight problems, disease, and aches and pains. Wellness exams allow us to get a complete picture of a pet’s health, year after year. This way, we can monitor their maturation, keep an eye out for problems, and stay up to date on vaccines and parasite protection. With wellness exams, our goal is to keep our patients’ bodies healthy for as long as possible.

How Often Should Your Pet Have a Wellness Exam?

This question doesn’t have a blanket answer. Each pet should have a wellness exam at least once per year. This can become more frequent depending on the pet’s wellness or age. Puppies and kittens may need several visits during their first year of life. These multiple visits allow us to administer a complete round of necessary vaccines, check for proper growth, and discuss any adjustments in diet or exercise.

Senior pets (aged seven and up) as well as pets with certain illnesses or disease also require more than one visit per year.

What Should You Expect During Your Pet’s Wellness Exam?

Once again, the answer to this question depends on many variables. As with visit frequency, the checks we perform during wellness exams depend on the age and health status of a pet.

Wellness exams always include a visual check. We look at a stance, gait, demeanor, weight, hair, ears, teeth, and eyes. We also palpate pets, making note of anything abnormal such as lumps, bumps, or any signs of pain. We like to have conversations with patients’ owners about lifestyle, changes in behavior, and any concerns they may have.

In addition to the above, there are several tests and preventative diagnostics we may perform during a wellness check. Whether or not we perform these depends on the age and well-being of each individual pet. They allow us to determine organ health, joint health, presence of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer, presence of parasitic infection, and any signs of internal masses or urinary blockages. These tests include:

  • Simple bloodwork
  • Complete blood count
  • Urinalysis
  • Radiographs (Chest and/or abdominal)
  • Fecal exam

When it comes to our pets’ health, one of the best things we can do is keep up with routine wellness visits. These visits, along with open communication with your veterinarian, will help keep your pet healthy and catch any potential problems as early as possible.

Here at Sandia Animal Clinic, during the month of September, our clients can enjoy a 20% discount on wellness exams as well as reduced rates for bloodwork and radiographs. To make an appointment, please call us at 505-299-9533.

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