Health checks are our best tool in preventing and beginning diagnoses of disease in pets. Unfortunately our patients cannot tell us ‘where it hurts’ or ‘what they have eaten’ therefore a full health check, combined with our experience, is one of our best diagnostic tools.
What do we usually check?
- General condition including body condition, coat quality, alertness and responsiveness
- Joints, feet, spine, hips and neck – especially in older pets looking for signs of arthritis
- Eyes and ears for signs of infection or abnormalities
- Mouth and teeth for infection or dental disease
- Lymph nodes for size and shape
- Listen to the heart and lungs for any abnormalities
- Abdominal palpitation – especially in cats and smaller dogs we can often feel the liver, spleen, kidneys, intestines and bladder
- Claws – checking length and for any damage
Depending on the purpose of the visit, we may check some things more quickly or in more detail, you would be surprised how intimately we get to know your pet in just a few minutes.
We would recommend that all pets have a full health check at least once a year, we would usually carry this out when they come in for their annual vaccinations. As pets get older it is a good idea to have them checked over more frequently, your vet can advise on how often they would advise coming in for check ups.