There is so much to talk about when it comes to good care for our pets. We love them and want to take care of them but how do we decide when and what they need? That's where your veterinarian comes in. The following article will help you to understand what we look for and how we decide what is the best course of care for your pet.
The Importance of Annual Veterinary Exams
We like to refer to our exams as nose to tail. During the exam, our doctors will examine all of your pet's body systems from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail.
Body Condition Exam
You will see your pet weighed at the beginning of the exam. The doctor then does a body condition score. This is actually more important than the weight because it assesses how appropriate the weight is for the body size and structure.
Pet Mouth Examination
When examining the mouth the doctor will check the status of the teeth and gums and stage your pet's dental condition. This allows us to make recommendations for care of the teeth to increase your pet's longevity and comfort. It may also freshen the breath!
The doctor will also note the color of the membranes of the mouth and begin to evaluate the circulation in your pet.
Pet Eye Exam
A thorough evaluation of the eyes is important. There are only two of them and we don't want anything to lead to potential loss of vision or comfort. Problems with the eyes may also be a sign of other internal problems.
Pet Ear Exam
Here in Southern California, ear problems are one of the more common issues for your pet. Our doctors will examine the ears externally and take a good look down to the ear drum with an otoscope. If there is any infection it will be dealt with immediately.
The Heart Exam
The doctor will listen to the heart for any issues and at the same time evaluate the pulse. This can detect abnormal heart beats and murmurs among the many issues that can occur.
Respiratory Tract Exam
The doctor will have examined the nose for any upper respiratory signs and will also listen to the lungs and note the character of the breathing for any issues.
The doctor will check the abdomen for any abnormalities. When palpation is done the doctor is checking for discomfort as well as the size of the internal organs such as the kidneys, liver, spleen and urinary bladder. We are always on the lookout for any abnormal masses during this part of the exam.
Skin and Coat Examination
The doctor will look at the skin to be sure there is no inflammation or infection. Any lumps or bumps will also be evaluated. We know how close you are to your pet and you can help us out by pointing out any new lumps during the exam. We will also talk to you about flea and tick control.
The doctor will check the spine from the head to the tail. During this portion of the exam the function of the nervous system will be checked.
Here at Newport Harbor we take pride on our detection and control of pain in your pet. We evaluate and actually record a pain score which records any level of pain and where it is located. From there our aim is to rid your pet of any pain or discomfort.
This takes place before, during and after the examination.
Our doctors will design a complete health plan for your pet. This plan will cover many important items:
We will be sure you understand the plan and we reach agreement before going forward.
The staff of our AAHA accredited hospital is here to help!