What will my veterinarian do during a dog preventive care appointment? - Advanced Animal Care in Richmond

A full physical exam is our basis there. Even just seeing them walk into the clinic is a really good way to assess how they're ambulating, how their motility is at home, but otherwise, we’ll do some simple blood work like a heartworm test, et cetera, to get them on these products here.

What will my veterinarian do during a dog preventive care appointment? - The Waggin' Train Veterinary Clinic

During your average preventative care appointment, it's going to be a lot of the routines, so we're going to test the dog for heartworms. We're going to do a stool sample to look for intestinal worms. We do a great head-to-toe physical exam. We're going to administer vaccinations to prevent all the diseases. Also, it gives us an opportunity to do what we call wellness blood work. That is typically where we run a CBC and maybe a chemistry panel. On some of our older patients, we might also include a thyroid panel. But it's before there's a problem, so we're looking to see if we can see the beginnings of perhaps inadequate kidney function, or the beginnings of something that's affecting the liver, or electrolytes or blood sugar...those kinds of things. That's why we call it wellness blood work. There's no problem there at that time, but it's allowing us to look behind the curtain and see if there's anything more brewing under the surface.

What will my veterinarian do during a dog preventive care appointment? - Family Pet Veterinary Center

So the first thing we do, as with any appointment, is a thorough exam. This is making sure that your dog is healthy enough to be on prevention. Then also, with heartworm prevention, we like to run a heartworm test before we start, just to make sure that we don't have any heartworms present before starting that prevention.

Contributed by from Family Pet Veterinary Center

What will my veterinarian do during a dog preventive care appointment? - Animal Hospital of Statesville

The first thing that we do is talk to you about the history. If you're there and your pet is completely well, those visits are few and far apart because somebody almost always thinks of a question or a concern that they have, but they save it until their visit because they didn't think it was serious enough to come in before, which is fine. We can talk about that. So we are really big on client education. We typically talk about the pet's lifestyle, which we talked about in the previous episode, because we want to know what your pet does daily and how things are going.

So history and conversation are one of the very first things that we do. Then we put our hands on your pet. The physical exam is a really important part. Our pets don't always talk to us and tell us what's going on. They might give us a clue, and we may be observant, or we might have busy lifestyles, and we don't notice that they've had a raging ear infection or problem that we didn't see. So we put our hands on them and do a physical exam, and then we may talk about testing. Depending on what that visit entails, we may do blood work and poop checks. We do a lot of poop checking for parasites. It tells us a lot about the health of a pet's gut. Then we educate on the next step, how to go forward in keeping your pet healthy if they are healthy. I know you've talked about the exam as being from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail, so you check their eyes, nose, ears, mouth, teeth, and lymph nodes.

A lot of times, if a pet comes in for limping on the right side of the back, I don't go to that back right leg initially because if it hurts, the first thing I do is hurt your pet. Then everything's going to hurt when I touch it. So I'll start maybe on the front legs or the left, and then the right, and owners will often say, no, it's the right. I did hear you, but there is a reason for examining the whole pet. As you said, you don't just say, okay, well, that leg looks okay or that leg has an issue. Let's look at everything. It would be a very rare occasion if your pet came in for one problem that we didn't do a full physical exam because we feel like that's very necessary to do. We listen to the heart and lungs and feel in their belly to see if there are any enlargement of organs, anything out of place. We palpate the abdomen, and we feel the joints by flexing and extending the joints. We're feeling for any problems. Sometimes we can feel problems internally just by palpating outside, whether it's a mass or tumor, an enlargement of an organ, or maybe it's a stone in the bladder. There are certain things that we can feel from the outside. And then just listen to the heart and the lungs, feel the pet from top to bottom, check their skin, look for external parasites, and lift the tail. We check everything.