As with humans, annual wellness visits are important in helping to maintain the health of your pet. Our wellness visits are designed to prevent disease and prolong the life of your pet. They are typically comprised of the following: a thorough physical exam, an intestinal parasite screen, a heartworm/blood parasite screen, appropriate vaccinations, blood work/urinalysis if indicated, and a complimentary pedicure. Each wellness visit will be personalized to your pet and will be discussed by a technician before the exam begins. Each component of the annual wellness visit is outlined below:
Unfortunately, pets are not able to verbalize symptoms that they may be experiencing which may leave you, the pet parent, unaware of any potential problems.
The doctor will perform a thorough exam from nose to tail. Through this exam, the doctor may detect problems such as heart murmurs, skin/ear infections, abnormal growths, and arthritis just to name a few.
Animal feces can contain parasites that are not only harmful to your pet, but can also be harmful to humans (especially children). Your pet may not show any symptoms of parasite infection, therefore, annual screening is crucial to the health of you and your pet.
Early detection will help prevent the spread of intestinal parasites. We want the safest environment for your 2 and 4 legged family members!
Due to our warm, humid environment in Wilmington and the surrounding area, dogs and cats are at a high risk for many bug bites. Mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks pose the highest risk for disease transmission. Heartworms are spread through mosquito bites and it only takes one bite from a carrier mosquito to infect your pet.
We recommend annual heartworm tests for dogs even if they are on regular heartworm prevention. Unfortunately, there is no product that is 100% guaranteed and occasionally pets spit out or vomit their medications. Annual testing for heartworms is recommended for dogs, but regular prevention is recommended for both cats and dogs. Disease prevention is always healthier for your pet and less costly than dealing with the treatment of the disease. Heartworm infections are often fatal if not treated. Even if treated, heartworms can cause permanent damage in the heart and lungs with possible complications later in life. The doctor will discuss the options for prevention with you at your annual wellness visit.
Our heartworm test that we run in house also screens for 2 tick borne diseases –Lyme and Ehrlichia.
Blood work is an important tool that doctors use to evaluate the general health of your pet. As mentioned earlier, pets are unable to verbalize how they are feeling. Routine blood work screens your pet for kidney disease, liver disease, anemia, diabetes, and thyroid disease, among other things. Depending on your pet’s age and health status, the doctor may also recommend running a urinalysis to help diagnose your pet. In general, we recommend blood work annually (at least) for senior pets (7 years and older). Blood work may also be indicated for younger pets depending on their history, physical exam, and health status.