Annual Physical Exams May Be The Most Important Investment For Your Pet


The annual physical examination is the first and often most important measure to preventing serious disease. It starts with taking a ‘history’, the all-important dialogue between owner and veterinarian. This gives you an opportunity to share your concerns and ask any question you may have about your pet’s care. Although it may seem like the value of a veterinary visit is in the “shots” that that your pet receives, the physical examination represents equal or greater value.

A physical examination helps us detect early signs of treatable disease like kidney failure, heart disease, or arthritis. We can also suggest strategies to increase your pet’s quality of life if he/she has a more serious illness such as cancer.

What you can expect at your pet’s annual examination:

1. Your pet’s general attitude will be noted, while we ask questions about your pet’s daily routines.

2. Your pet’s skin and coat are inspected since they are good indicators of general health and nutritional status. A healthy coat will be shiny, not brittle or coarse, and skin should be clean, not greasy or flaky.

3. Outer ears and ear canals will be examined for signs of infection.

4. Eyes are examined for tearing, redness, and signs of early cataract formation.

5. An oral exam is performed to check for unhealthy teeth or gums, or the presence of abnormal growths. The shade of gums will be noted to check for anemia.

6. Lymph nodes are felt in various locations to detect abnormal enlargements.

7. We listen to your pet’s heart to detect murmurs, rhythm disturbances, and his/her lungs will be examined for wheezing and congestion.

8. An examination of the abdomen will help us detect a wide variety of problems, ranging from kidney disease to lumps.

9. Musculature and joints are examined for signs of weakness and pain. It is often recommended that your pet have certain laboratory tests performed, which will depend on pre-existing conditions and age.

Pets now have access to the highest quality of medical care in history. An annual physical examination plays an important part in prolonging and improving the quality of life of your pet.


  1. Caution: These news items, written by LifeLearn Inc., are licensed to this practice for the personal use of our clients. Any copying, printing or further distribution is prohibited without the express written permission of LifeLearn Inc. Please note that the news information presented here is NOT a substitute for a proper consultation and/or clinical examination of your pet by our clinic veterinarian.