A nose-to-tail exam is the best means for your veterinarian to periodically assess your pet’s health as well as to notice any changes or detect signs of underlying illness or even injuries. They also provide a great opportunity for you to bring forth any questions or concerns you may have. Your veterinarian will also use this time to provide you with new and updated information that is specific to the type and breed of your pet.
During your pet’s wellness exam, your veterinarian will:
Examine your pet’s respiratory system – By listening to your pet’s lungs with a stethoscope we are able to assess respiratory health and detect a range of health issues at an early stage. These include respiratory infections, obstructive diseases and other pulmonary issues.
Assess your pet’s heart – A stethoscope is also a great tool for assessing the health of your companion’s heart health. Your veterinarian can listen for murmurs and other irregular heart beat patterns that could indicate poor or failing coronary health.
Examine the teeth and oral cavity – The systemic health of your pet can be affected by poor dental health because infections can enter the bloodstream and infect other parts of the body. Dental disease is also one of the most common and preventable health issues in pets.
Check your pet’s vision and eyes – This does not involve an eye chart, but your veterinarian will check for issues related to sight and ocular health. For example, conditions such as glaucoma are relatively common in older pets and can be well treated when discovered early.
Look in the ears – Infections, ear mites, low-grade allergies and other related health issues are relatively common in companion animals. Your veterinarian can use a couple of different tools to look inside the ears to see if there are any indications of ear disease.
Palpate lymph nodes, abdomen and skin – By using the hands to touch and feel for abnormalities such as bumps, lesions or hair loss, your veterinarian can detect dermatological and systemic illnesses.
Palpate joints and muscles – Arthritis and other orthopedic conditions are relatively common and if diagnosed at a later stage can be quite painful and limit your pet’s activity. Early detection will lead to treatments that can relieve pain and provide your pet with many more active years.
Lab testing – Laboratory testing allows us to evaluate the function of internal organs, blood, and other systems. These tests are critical for uncovering underlying disease processes that otherwise would remain unnoticed until they cause serious symptoms in your pet.
Exotic pets, otherwise known as pocket pets because of their small size, require specialized veterinary care. We treat rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, gerbils, mice, rats, and hedgehogs.