Prevention is the best medicine, and the first step to keeping your pet healthy begins with an annual wellness exam. At Chalco Hills Animal Hospital, we recommend that all pets receive a comprehensive physical examination at least once a year, though more frequent exams are encouraged, especially for our senior pets. A wellness exam allows us to assess the health of your pet, notice potential signs of trouble at an early and easily treatable stage, and offer important information on care for the specific age, type and breed of your pet.
As normal aging occurs, your pet may develop a number of conditions that may not be outwardly obvious and that you may not be aware of. We can often detect these conditions during your pet's regular wellness exam, or through routine laboratory tests. If these conditions are identified early treatment can be initiated before they become serious or more difficult to treat. Through early detection and individualized treatment, we can help your elderly pet to enjoy a long, happy, and healthy life.
What Happens During an Annual Wellness Exam?
We will perform a comprehensive physical examination, from nose to tail. We closely examine the eyes, assessing your pet's vision and check their ears for abnormalities or evidence of infection. We pay careful attention to your pet's mouth, looking closely at the teeth and gums and alerting you to any signs of tartar, plaque, gingivitis, and loose or broken teeth that we may find. We listen to their chest to assess their heart and lungs and palpate their belly for any abnormalities. We will examine their skin and coat for lumps and bumps and evaluate their joints and muscles to make sure that everything is functioning properly.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is also very important for your pet. At each visit, we will record their weight and discuss diet and exercise habits to develop a customized weight management program for your pet.
We will also take the time to address or investigate any questions or concerns you may have regarding your pet's behavior or any other aspect of their overall health.
Vaccinations play an important role in keeping your pet safe and protected from a number of contagious diseases. The American Veterinary Medical Association advises that all pets receive core vaccinations and other immunizations based on lifestyle. We will take the time to discuss vaccination options and our recommendations with you to make sure your pet is optimally protected. Vaccination protocols will then be individually tailored for your pet based on their age, environment and risk for exposure.
Preventative Screening and Medications
We recommend that all dogs be tested yearly for Heartworm disease and that all dogs and cats have a yearly fecal exam to look for intestinal parasites. We also recommend year-round preventative for heartworm, fleas, and ticks. Cat owners should also consider a preventative for their felines, especially if their cat spends any time outside.
Chalco Hills Animal Hospital offers a variety of preventatives and would be happy to help you determine which is best for your companion.
Puppies and Kittens
Did you recently add to your family by adopting a new kitten or puppy? We recommend having your new puppy or kitten examined soon after adoption to make sure they are healthy and free of parasites, which are very common in our young pets. Chalco Hills Animal Hospital has special plans designed for the newest members of your family, including wellness exams, vaccines, parasite screening and treatment, as well as spaying and neutering. Learn more about our Pet Annual Wellness Plans.