Preventative health care is essential to ensure
that your dog or cat has a full, healthy life.
Our wellness Care services include:
- Puppy/Kitten Vaccination Series: Advances in pet vaccines video
- Adult Dog/Cat Vaccinations: Leptospirosis & Rabies
- Senior Pet Health Care and Diagnostics: Senior pet video
- Comprehensive Bi-annual Physical Examinations
Twice a Year Exams: Why It is Vital to Your Pet
What We Recommend and Why
Parkway Animal Hospital believes in practicing the best recommended medicine available following the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) endorsement which means pets should be examined twice a year: once for urinalysis and blood work and once for vaccines. Since pets age 7 years on average for each 1 human year, change can happen extremely fast resulting in serious conditions occurring very rapidly and in order to prevent and detect conditions early we feel examining twice a year is necessary.
During an exam we frequently run blood work, a fecal test and urinalysis and then have the interpretation to discuss with the owner during the appointment. To prevent diseases we vaccinate yearly because immunity is uncertain on the length vaccines last. Parkway Animal Hospital recommends having blood work done on your pet to determine if there is anything serious going on. The earlier we can detect problems, the more we can do to minimize the effects of those problems. In addition to the quality and length of life issues the monetary cost of prevention is much less than the cost of treating conditions once they occur.
- Full Blood Screen – Checking for liver and kidney function, as well as diabetes and electrolyte problems
- Urinalysis – Check for kidney function, diabetes and infection
- Complete Blood Count – Check for anemia and infections
- Thyroid Screening – Check for common hormonal conditions
- Fecal test – to check for intestinal parasites.
The Physical Veterinary Exam in Ten Steps
As we know, veterinarians have all the luck. Their patients are cute, furry and don’t ask for second opinions. Well, at least not usually. A trusted, loving veterinarian plays a critical role in the health and well being of your dog, but you’re curious (and maybe you’ve wanted to ask), what exactly is your veterinarian examining during a physical check up of your pet?
Every veterinarian has their own examination methods of course, but here’s a quick look at the top ten elements of the veterinary physical exam. These will help you interpret what your veterinarian is doing, and encourage you to ask questions and involve yourself in the process.
From vital signs to intangible signs of canine health, a good veterinarian will exam your dog from head to tail to assess her state of health. Here’s a quick description of each step in the process.
Your veterinarian takes your pet’s vital signs, notes any immediate impressions in attitude as well and assesses her total “body condition score.”
#2. The head
By looking closely at the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and teeth, your veterinarian can check for discharge, levels of hydration and other critical signs of health.
#3. Skin and coat
A close look at the skin and coat can tip off the veterinarian to fleas, ticks, lumps and general hydration.
#4. The chest
By listening to your pet’s chest with a stethoscope, veterinarians “try to alter your pet’s breathing pattern with our hands on the nose and mouth and feel the pulses as they relate to the beats of the heart.” To help the veterinarian stay focused, it’s best to stay quiet during this aspect of the exam.
By feeling for the pulse during the chest exam, your veterinarian also checks the refill time for the mucous membranes and that pulses are well synchronized with the heartbeat.
Your veterinarian takes the time to assess the symmetry of the musculature and your pet’s mobility by observing how your pet moves and physically moving the limbs in their joints.
#7. The abdomen
By palpating the abdomen, the pet Dr. can assess the size and texture of the organs and identify any abnormal masses.
#8. Lymph nodes
Veterinarians palpate the nodes in the neck, in front of the shoulders, and behind the knees and look for enlarged lymph nodes throughout the body.
By testing basic reflexes and cranial nerves, veterinarians can review basic neurologic response.
#10. The invisible intangibles
Little things like your pet’s scent or motion may cue your veterinarian to other problems. Experienced veterinarians are often successful at identifying health issues that don’t present themselves with obvious signs.