Regular wellness exams are one of the most important things you can do to keep your cat healthy. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends annual wellness exams at a minimum and as your cat ages, they suggest an increase in frequency of visits. We believe strongly in preventive care and have developed wellness protocols for every stage of your cat's life.
One of the most important reasons to bring your cat in on a regular basis is to monitor and treat conditions before they become untreatable. Since cats can't vocalize how they are feeling, illness or disease may be present before you are aware of symptoms. The benefit of early detection allows time for steps to be taken to manage or correct a problem before irreversible damage occurs. Because our cats age so much faster than we do, regular wellness exams are one of the best ways that you can help your cat live a long, healthy life.
During a wellness exam, our veterinary team will start out by taking your cat's vital signs. Typically, your veterinarian will ask for a complete history of your cat's health including eating habits, exercise, unusual behavior, etc. and do a comprehensive examination of your cat from nose to tail. He or she may also perform diagnostic tests such as blood work, urinalysis or intestinal parasite tests and vaccines may be administered (depending on your cat's life stage). Additionally, disease screenings (heartworm, kidney, liver, blood disorders, etc.) may be recommended, depending on the state of your cat's health.
Wellness exams are a simple and effective way of monitoring your cat's health. Wellness examinations do not necessarily mean that your cat is going to be subjected to a barrage of complicated or costly medical tests and treatments. While some animals may need close monitoring of blood work, x-rays or other tests, many cats benefit simply from being physically examined, having their heart and lungs listened to and their general health assessed, preventing a major health issue from developing undetected. This also gives us the opportunity to analyze and record baseline values, such as temperature, body condition, and lab work. We measure these when your cat is healthy, in order to provide better care in the event of illness or emergency. A dental health exam and a weight check are always important parts of a wellness exam, and may indicate problems that can progress rapidly and can have significant impact on your cat's overall health.
Early detection and correction of medical problems will help to ensure that your cat will love a long, healthy and active life.