The saying goes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and we couldn’t agree more! At Mission Valley, preventative medicine is the cornerstone of our care. This includes wellness exams, vaccinations, parasite testing and prevention, and nutrition.
Our wellness care services allow us to see pets at their healthiest and then give you strategies to keep them there, including regular exams, vaccinations, blood work, and other proactive health care. Regular exams for pets not only let us establish what’s normal for your pet but also give us the opportunity to catch health issues early, while they’re most treatable and before they become bigger—and more expensive problems.
We recommend annual exams and blood testing for most adult animals, though that may vary by species and age. As a rule, puppies and kittens need to see the vet more frequently at first for vaccinations and parasite treatment. Senior pets—for dogs and cats, that generally means any pet over seven—we suggest twice yearly visits, as pets age much faster than we do, and therefore, disease and illness progress much faster as well.
Your pet’s annual exam is also a great time to discuss any changes you may have observed in your pet. Since animals can’t really tell us when they’re unwell, and they often instinctually hide symptoms, subtle behavior changes are often the first clue that something’s not right.
Semi-annual physical examinations are very important for your pet. Dr. Edelman, Dr. Virk, and Dr. Harper recommend a complete physical examination for your pet bi-annually for all our patients. Wellness programs vary depending on the species, age, and health needs of the patient. Wellness examinations are also essential in spotting problems before they become serious health issues. Depending on your pet’s age, current medical condition, and medical history, our veterinarians may recommend additional tests as part of your pet’s wellness examination. For any pet, especially senior pets, a wellness examination is a good way to detect the early onset of disease. Early diagnosis and treatment of diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, can greatly improve the overall health and well-being of your pet.
What is included?
At Mission Valley Veterinary Clinic, our wellness examination includes an inspection of the ears, and the eyes, an inspection of the teeth, an evaluation of the heart and lungs, and an examination of the fur and skin. Our veterinarians will also feel all over your pet’s body for lumps and bumps. In addition, our veterinarians will check your pet’s vital signs (temperature, pulse, and respiration) and record your pet’s current weight. Routine examinations give our veterinarians an opportunity to develop a picture of your pet’s overall health.
Many veterinarians perform testing on samples of blood, urine, and stool during a wellness exam. The blood test may include a complete blood cell count (CBC) and a chemistry panel. These tests can help determine if your pet has problems such as anemia, infection, or organ disease. Parasite tests are usually performed during wellness examinations. Our veterinarians request that you bring in a sample of your pet’s stool for analysis. A fresh stool sample can be tested using special procedures to identify parasites. Our veterinarians recommend testing your pet for heartworm disease every two years. This type of parasite test involves taking a blood sample. An overall view of your pet’s health helps our veterinarians detect any problems that may be developing in your pet at an early stage.