One of the most valuable benefits of a yearly visit to the veterinarian is a complete physical examination. When you consider the relative lifespan of our dogs and cats, this is like us seeing our doctor for a physical every four to seven years. A lot can change over that period of time.
Our veterinarians perform a complete physical exam on all of our patients. This entails: examination of the eyes and ears with an ophthalmoscope and otoscope; examining the teeth and gums for signs of tooth and gum disease; listening to the heart and lungs for heart murmurs, arrhythmias, and congestion; evaluating a patient's weight; palpating the abdomen for signs of masses, pain or organ enlargement; feeling the lymph nodes and joints; and examining the skin for signs of parasites, tumors and cysts, allergy or infection. We will also ask many questions about your pet's behavior and habits at home to obtain a good medical history.
An examination can take 15-30 minutes and can help determine if any additional diagnostics, procedures or recommendations are necessary. Early recognition and treatment of diseases found during a physical examination can help prevent more serious problems and/or improve the quality of life of your pet.