What to Expect During a Wellness Examination & Consultation
Did you know??...On average, our pets age at a rate 5 to 7 times faster than we as humans do!
Accelerated ageing compared to humans is a central reason why annual examination (or bi-annual examinations for our senior patients) are so important to the overall health and well-being of your 4-legged friend. Exams and wellness services help not only to keep your pet healthy and happy but also keep your dogs’ tail wagging and your cats’ motor purring for years to come!
**A Wellness Appointment is so much more than giving your pet “shots” that may be due.**
Wellness examinations give me the opportunity to share the most current recommendations in preventative health care based on your pets’ age, individual needs and lifestyle. Topics discussed during your pets’ wellness appointment include vaccinations, heartworm prevention, internal and external parasite assessment and recommendation, weight management and nutrition. Laboratory screenings may be recommended, including fecal evaluation, bloodwork, & urinalysis.
My hope is by performing wellness services and sharing information with you, together we can make the best informed and educated choices for your pets’ overall wellness & preventative health care needs. Examinations also give us the opportunity to discover medical conditions or diseases which may have otherwise gone undetected.
During the exam, your pet will be weighed and have vital parameters assessed. Initially, a daily lifestyle questionnaire (filled out prior to or during your appointment) are discussed. Answers to these questions will give me valuable information about your pets’ daily activities, habits and routine.
The Daily Lifestyle Questionnaire focuses on:
Diet - brand, type, amount given/day, feeding schedule
Appetite and water consumption
Elimination and litterbox habits
Chronic or pre-existing health conditions
Medication(s) or supplement(s) - including use of Heartworm or Flea/Tick Preventative
Living situation and ability to exercise - i.e.: backyard access or condo/apartment living, ability to go on walks/hikes, etc.
Use of dog parks, doggie day care, boarding or grooming facilities
Indoor/outdoor access (cats)
Other family members in the home - i.e. “furry” and “non-furry” members, children, or immunosuppressed individuals
Additional concerns about your pet
I will review the answers with you and perform the physical examination. The exam is a cursory “head to tail” exam on your pet includes a brief evaluation of your pets’ eyes, ears, oral cavity/teeth, heart, lungs, abdominal cavity, skin, glands (including lymph nodes), and musculoskeletal system. The evaluation also includes a cursory nutritional assessment and a weight assessment (Body Condition Score and Muscle Condition Score).
Possible medical conditions discovered during examination may include but are not limited to:
Weight Management: unexplained/unexpected weight loss or obesity which could be affecting your pets’ overall health and mobility
Dental & Periodontal Disease: which could be changing the way your pet can eat, causing them pain or discomfort, and potentially seeding infection to their internal organs such as their heart and kidneys
Infections: such as skin or ears which could be uncomfortable or possibly painful for your pet, causing itching/scratching for relief
Abnormal swellings/lumps/masses: which could be cancerous or causing discomfort
Heart Murmurs or Abnormal Heart Beats: which could be our first indication of an underlying heart disease
Aging-Related Developments: conditions such as arthritis which may be painful and affecting your pets’ mobility and interactions with the family, or conditions such as cognitive dysfunction
If any of the above or other conditions are identified, you and I will potential discuss next steps including scheduling a follow up appointment or procedure, performing additional diagnostics, or starting a treatment plan.
**During your pet’s routine Wellness Exam, time constraints may prevent the ability to go into in-depth detail about additional concerns you have about your pet’s health or abnormalities discovered during the examination. It is important to let me know when you schedule your pets’ appointment if you have specific additional concerns you would like me to address (new lumps, ear or skin infection, lameness/limping, etc). An extended wellness examination rate will be applied for any additional problems evaluated or discussed in detail during your Wellness Exam. If determined your pet is ill (lethargic, vomiting, febrile, significant unintended weight loss, etc), I may change the nature of the appointment to address the illness, and you may be asked to reschedule your pet’s wellness visit.**
Thank you for scheduling your pets’ annual wellness examination and entrusting me with your pets’ care! I look forward to our journey together!
Dr. Lisa Mausbach DVM, MSOL-LM-PLM