An annual exam for your pet is important.
Pain is prevented and lives are saved through regular exams…
Here’s what gets checked in an exam for your pet:
Ears: We check ears for any abnormalities like, excessive dirt, accumulation of wax or debris that could lead to infection, redness, swelling, and polyps. We check for abnormal odors. We will clean ears if needed.
Eyes: We check for any discharge, tear staining, excessive tear production, aging changes, abnormal deposits, changes inside the eye including blood vessels and the optic nerve, corneal abrasions or other injuries.
Lymph Nodes: There are 3 sets of lymph nodes under the jaw, in front of the shoulder and mid way down the rear legs that are palpated upon exam. We check for any abnormal enlargement that may indicate infection or other disease process occurring in the body.
Thyroid gland: Is located on the neck and is palpable in some disease states. We check for abnormal size, which indicates a need for specific blood testing.
Salivary glands: Are sometimes palpable behind the jaw.
Anal glands: We express them if needed but visually check them for any abnormalities including discharge, odor, size or excretions.
Lungs: We listen to your pets lungs to make sure that they are moving air clearly in all areas of their lungs (there are 4 quadrants) at a normal rate with a normal amount of effort.
Abdomen: We palpate your pet’s abdomen and check their internal organs for any abnormalities. When we palpate their abdomen, this is what we are learning about your pet’s health:
- Kidneys: We check to make sure that both kidneys are normal in size and texture when we palpate the abdomen.
- Liver: We check to make sure that the liver is normal in size and texture when we palpate the abdomen.
- Intestines: We will listen to the intestines and make sure that they are working properly by how much activity we can hear within a given time span. We also palpate the intestines for any abnormalities. Their texture could indicate parasites, GI upset, constipation, foreign bodies or masses.
- Spleen: When we palpate the abdomen we feel for any abnormalities in size and texture of the spleen.
- Bladder: We palpate the bladder and feel for any abnormalities. We can sometimes feel bladder stones. We make sure that there is no abnormal odor or discharge from your pet’s vulva or penis.
Temperature: We take your pets temperature to ensure that they healthy. We track this so that we know what you’re pets “normal” temperature is when they are at our office.
Weight: We check your pet’s weight and compare it to previous visit in which they were weighed. Changes in weight can be early indications of many other diseases and can be indications of changes in appetite, diet or activity level which may have happened slowly over time and thus was not obvious.
Skin & Coat: We check to make sure that their skin and hair coat are of normal color, texture and appropriate for that pets species, breed, age and medical history. We note any abnormalities including color, itchiness, crusts, pustules, greasiness or dryness, flaky skin, flea dirt or other parasites, ticks, lumps and scars.
Lumps and bumps: we carefully chart the size, texture and location of each lump and bump that is observed on your pet. We will recommend and perform specific screening tests if indicated.
Mobility: We check your pets back and legs to make sure that there are no swellings or any areas that are painful.
Heart: We listen to their heart for any abnormalities including murmurs or arrhythmias. We make sure that their heart rate is appropriate for their medical history, age, breed and size.
Mouth: We grade your pets tartar accumulation, note abnormal tooth wear & broken teeth, check the color of the gums, their tongue, the back of their throat, check for growths and any abnormal odors.
Testicles, if not neutered: We make sure that both testicles have descended. In dogs over 5 years of age, we check their prostate for changes in size and we monitor testicular changes to screen for cancer.
Uterus, if not spayed: We make sure that there is no abnormalities in size and texture. We make sure that there is no visible or abnormal odor or discharge from the vulva.
Mammary Arcade: We palpate and carefully chart any lumps or bumps to screen for cancer. We also confirm whether there is any discharge or swelling of the mammary glands.