Early diagnosis is key to long term health!
Annual check ups are a chance for the veterinarian to perform a full physical exam on your pet. She will listen to your pet's heart and lungs with a stethoscope. Then, she will do a hands on examine to examine all of your pet's major organ systems (muscular, nervous system, skin, etc.). The veterinarian will also ask you a few questions to know your pet's daily habits and if there are any changes that you are concerned about.
The next step would be to get your pet all up to date on vaccines, in particular the core vaccines (rabies and DA2PP for dogs, and rabies and FVRCP for cats). One of the veterinarians will also discuss additional vaccines, such as Bordetella or Leptospirosis vaccines, depending on your pet's daily routine. If you have any concerns about a certain vaccine, or want to know more, just ask one of our veterinary staff and we would be happy to provide more information.
Another part of an annual check-up may include running wellness blood tests. A veterinarian can only check so much from outside the body, sometimes a look at the bloodwork can help determine if there are any underlying conditions going on.
Blood tests allow the veterinarians to take a look at the internal function of your pet. It can help them see if there are any underlying diseases or conditions occurring. Early indicators of disease can be spotted and monitored, by having regular wellness blood work, long before it becomes an issue. Regular bloodwork can even show something wrong with your pet before there are any outward signs of the disease.
Another important annual blood test is 4dx testing. This is done typically in the early spring and it tests for heartworm, lyme disease and two other tick borne viruses. This is highly recommended to be done before starting any heartworm prevention medication since the prevention medication is not effective against adult heartworm. Ticks have become much more prominent in the Markham/Unionville area and it is important to get treatment started as soon as possible if your pet is infected with a tick borne virus. Therefore, testing for theses viruses regularly is a must.
If you have any questions regarding wellness blood tests, or what we look for in our regular blood tests, please contact our clinic and our veterinary staff will be happy to answer any and all questions.