Here at Ruckersville Animal Hospital, we recommend yearly physical examinations on all dogs and cats over the age of one year. The information gathered during your pet's annual wellness visit becomes part of your pet's medical history and can be critical if any emergency or sudden illness arises.
As part of an annual physical exam, we will perform the following services:
- Check for significant weight loss or weight gain, which can be an early warning sign of disease. Obesity can be a common problem for older pets and we will assess your pet's diet and nutritional needs.
- Examine eyes for cataracts, glaucoma or inflammation.
- Examine ears for ear mites, infection or inflammation.
- Evaluate nose and nasal passages for signs of upper respiratory disease.
- Check for periodontal disease. As many as 95% of all pets two years and older have periodontal disease. We evaluate your pet's teeth and check the color and condition of the gums.
- Palpate lymph nodes to check for inflammation or tumors.
- Listen to the chest for heart murmurs, irregular heartbeat and abnormal lung sounds.
- Palpate the abdomen for abnormal masses or pain.
- Assess the condition of all joints, legs, hips, and spine.
- Assess the hair and coat. It should appear healthy and well groomed. Dull, dry, brittle hair or hair loss may indicate an underlying illness. We will also check your pet's skin for infection or signs of fleas, ticks or mites.
- Perform a rectal exam (if applicable) to check for abnormalities and analyze a stool sample for intestinal parasites.
- Check for heartworm infection and other parasites with a routine blood collection.