What is involved in a dog wellness exam?

At our practice, what we do for dog wellness exams is they get an exam by the doctor to assess all of the external factors of your pet. So, eyes, ears, teeth, skeletal structures. We listen to their heart and lungs. We palpate their abdomen. That is a general exam that we do to make sure that there are no problems with your pet.

Dr. Cara Bankson
Vets of East Texas

How does dog wellness impact the longevity of my pet?

So, using our exams, what we can do is we can detect disease earlier so that way we can head off any sort of chronic disease processes and go ahead and get treatment started if it's indicated for each patient, depending on what that may be. For example, especially small dogs, they develop dental tartar really easily or more easily than a large breed dog, and those patients need dental evaluations more frequently and may need dental cleanings more frequently. And so that is one way we can impact the longevity of a pet is by keeping their mouths healthy. We eliminate bacteria from circulating in their body, and that allows your pet to be able to live a longer, healthier life.

When should I bring my pet in to see a veterinarian for a wellness exam?

So, we recommend wellness exams every six months. We do our yearly exams and do vaccinations at that time, and then about six months later, usually they're coming in for something else. Most of the time it's heartworm prevention at that time, and so we're doing wellness exams every six months.

What are some dog wellness recommendations my vet is likely to make?

So, a couple of things that we will recommend to help prevent from disease would be brushing your dog's teeth or getting them some sort of dental chew or support product. Sometimes we will recommend joint supplements. We will sometimes give you exercise regimens or feeding recommendations at those times, just depending on what your pet may need that day. But those are some good recommendations that a lot of times we are making across the board.

Why is early detection of health issues in my dog so important?

So, the things that we do try to detect disease early, so that way we can either go ahead and get treatment started and not have those then turn into a more chronic disease process or a long-term disease issue. So, that way we can get your pet treated appropriately and not have to keep them on medications for their entire life if we don't have to, if that's not something that's indicated.

What do I need to bring to a wellness exam?

So, we would recommend bringing any previous records that you may have for your pet, any sort of medications they may be on, or at least a list of those medications, how often you're giving them, or supplements that they may be on that you have had them on for other things. We also would recommend at least knowing what type of food they're on how much they're getting, so that way we can make any sort of changes or recommendations based on that.

What are baseline diagnostic tests and how do they help my dog?

Baseline diagnostic tests that we include with our yearly Packager Wellness Bundles are going to be a comprehensive blood work exam, so looking at organ function, overall red blood cell count, white blood cell count, breakdown of those, as well as platelet counts. We also do a heartworm and tick-borne disease test in your pet, so that way we can treat those if needed quickly and effectively, versus having the dog end up with some other sort of disease that we could have prevented or could have treated and then prevented other long-term issues from.

How can I keep my dog from becoming overweight?

A few things that you can do to keep your dog from becoming overweight, especially, I would say this is more common in our spayed or neutered patients, is they have different calorie needs. We can do calorie calculations for our owners, and we also even have cups that we will send home with owners that have the recommended or various markings on them to help you know how much to feed your pet. Sometimes the back of the bag doesn't always give you the most accurate information, depending on what your pet's individual calorie needs are, so we calculate those for our pets or our patients, so that way we can give you that information. Sometimes we will even recommend specific diets for that. A lot of it is a little bit pet-dependent, but those are a few things that we do.

How important is it to regularly exercise your pet?

We consider exercise to be part of what every pet should be doing. Part of that is to help their joints be lubricated and move fluid around. Just like people, joints in motion are going to stay in motion, and we want our pets to try to stay as active as they can, so that way we can protect those areas. That is part of them being able to live a longer and healthier life, is to keep them moving and keep them active. Even if that's just going to walk around the yard a couple times a day, it is still very important for their long-term health. If you may have any questions about some of the things we discussed today, please don't hesitate to give us a call. We want your pet to be able to live more good years together with you, so let us know if you need anything from us.

If you have any other questions, please give us a call at (903) 459-4582. You can also email us at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as we are able. Don't forget to follow us on social media: Facebook and Instagram