We always strive to take a proactive approach when it comes to your pet’s health. For this reason, we recommend twice yearly wellness visits for dogs and once yearly visits for cats.
Your pet’s examination: from nose to tail
The most important part of the wellness visit is the physical exam. During the exam, the veterinarian uses a thorough nose to tail approach to try to identify any abnormalities that may eventually cause concerning symptoms for your pet at home. Any abnormalities will be explained to you in detail during the exam, and any recommendations for treatments or diagnostics will be outlined. The veterinarian will then spend time with you discussing any concerns you may be having for your pet at home and answering any questions you may have.
Bloodwork is the window into your pet’s health
Diagnostic tests are recommended during wellness visits as well. A complete blood panel is recommended yearly. For pets over 8 years of age, we recommend a more comprehensive blood panel as well as a urinalysis, since underlying illness is more common in pets as they age. The goal of the annual bloodwork is to uncover any underlying problems that may not yet be affecting the pet enough for them to show outward signs. This allows us to institute treatment earlier, in the hopes that we can stop some illnesses before they cause the pet any harm, or slow the progression of chronic illnesses if they cannot be cured.
Annul heartworm screening
A heartworm test is recommended yearly for all dogs and cats. This is a blood test that allows us to verify that a pet has not contracted heartworms. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, so in Houston heartworm disease is very common. Even cats who spend all of their time indoors can contract them. For this reason, heartworm prevention is a must for all dogs and cats, even those that don’t spend much time outside. We have several options for heartworm prevention, and these will all be detailed for you during your pet’s wellness visit. Intestinal parasite screening
An intestinal parasite screen is recommended twice yearly for dogs and once yearly for cats. Most intestinal parasites are transmitted when a pet ingests the stool of another animal who is passing parasites. Many intestinal parasites can be transmitted to people, and an animal with parasites may not be showing any outward symptoms. For these reason, routine testing is crucial for detecting parasites and treating them before they cause any problems for your pet or your family. You will be asked to bring a stool sample with you to your pet’s wellness visit to complete the parasite screen. If you are unable to do so, we will attempt to collect one during the visit or ask you to bring one back within 2 weeks.
Vaccinations: a tailored approach to your pet’s lifestyle
Vaccinations are important for preventing diseases, many of which could be devastating for your pet if they contracted them. Not all dogs and cats need every vaccination. Our goal is to provide just the right vaccinations for your pet based on their risk of exposure. For this reason, when you come with your pet for a wellness visit, the veterinary technician will ask questions aimed at determining exposure risk so that we can recommend a vaccination regimen that is just right for your pet.