@MountainMutts TY 4 Following! Woof!
24 December 2011
Why take my pet for an Annual Wellness Exam if they are not sick?
An annual exam is not just a check-up, it is a method to prevent illness by early detection.
As observant and caring as pet parents are they do not necessarily have all the skills to pick up on the early warning signs of illness.
An annual wellness exam should be from the nose all the way down to the tail.
A General Guideline:
The Nose is checked for nasal discharge, thick or runny, cloudy or colored, and the odor.
...The problem could be allergies, blockage, infection...
The Eyes are checked for dullness, discharge, redness/or yellow tinge, soreness, squinting or
abnormalities so slight you would need a trained eye or instrument to detect.
...The problems can range from a slight irritation to Conjunctivitis to Glaucoma or Tumors...
The Mouth is checked for scrapes, bruises, lumps, bumps, condition of teeth/gums and any
swelling or problems around his jaw, also mucous membrane color.
...The problems can be abscessed/broken teeth, bleeding gums, tumors or anemia...
The Ears are checked for infections, bacteria, debris, odor, redness or swelling.
...The problems can be ear infections, foreign objects, tumors of the ear or ear flap...
The Lungs are checked for congestion or breathing problems.
...The problems can be asthma, allergies, infection; Bordatella, Distemper, Heartworm
can cause congestion...
The Heart is checked for heart rate, strength and quality (rate is somewhere around 90 -
130bpm depending on the dog).
...The problems would be heart disease related...
The Skin and Coat is checked for flea's, tick's, other parasites, swelling, cuts, sores, rashes, scrapes, condition of skin and coat. The skin is the largest organ and is a good indicator of health.
...The problems could be skin infections, allergies, nutritional/internal problems indicated by dull coat, immune system problems...
The Abdomen is checked by palpating the dogs stomach and groin area checking for lumps,
abnormal distending, infections and any pain.
...The problems can be gastrointestinal problems, enlarged organs, infections, tumors...
The Back and Tail is checked for alignment and any lumps or bumps.
...The problems can be a disjointed back, tumors...
Last but not least are general appearance, body condition, body symmetry, posture and gait, attentiveness, hydration, temperature, paw inspections, any muscle damage in your dogs legs, anal glands.
I'm sure there is more I didn't list, but as you can see an annual exam is not just heartbeat, pulse, temp and history, it's pretty comprehensive.
Better to catch any pending problems early...this is a good way to start.
Any comments, questions welcome.