A wellness exam is an assessment of the general health of your pet. Besides a physical exam, the wellness check may include blood tests, urinalysis, and parasite screening. A wellness exam should be conducted at least annually. Wellness exams should occur at least every 6 months for senior pets or pets with certain health issues. Wellness exams are vital to ensure your pet's health and to detect early stages of disease. Often, this exam is scheduled when your pet is due for vaccinations.
The timing and procedures performed during a wellness programs will vary depending on the type of animal, age, and health of your pet. Your veterinarian may ask you to complete an informational checklist about your pet as well as fill in any gaps in their medical history. Be sure to bring up any concerns you may have that are not addressed on the checklist.
The physical examination is a nose-to-tail inspection of the pet. During this examination your veterinarian will check your pet’s vital signs and record your pet’s current weight. Your veterinarian will take a listen to the heart and lungs, view the inside of the ears, and examine the eyes. Your veterinarian will also feel for any unusual or concerning lumps.
Your veterinarian may take or ask for samples of blood, urine, and stool during a wellness exam. Tests on these samples can help determine if your pet has diseases, parasites, or other health issues. There are other tests, such as those for various hormone levels, that may be useful depending on the physical examination and previous medical history.