What Does a Vet Do During a Routine Checkup?

Veterinary checkups, also known as routine wellness exams, help pets maintain optimal health. Annual checkups help your pet’s veterinarian identify signs of disease in the earlier stages, where many conditions are easy to treat. In addition, checkups provide your furry friend with high-quality preventive care, including vaccines and parasite medications.

Regular checkups can save you time and money while ensuring your furry friend has a long, happy, healthy life. Here’s what to expect your vet to do during your next routine checkup.

Conduct a Physical Exam

When you take your furry friend to the vet’s office for a routine checkup, your vet will review your pet’s medical history. In addition, your vet will ask questions about your pet’s diet, exercise, breathing, behavior, lifestyle, and general health.

Your vet will also perform a head-to-toe physical exam. Routine physical exams typically include:

  • Listening to your pet’s lungs and heart
  • Checking your pet’s stance, walk, and weight
  • Examining your pet’s eyes, coat, skin, nails, feet, ears, and teeth
  • Palpating your pet’s abdomen to check their internal organs
  • Checking your pet’s body for signs of disease, such as swelling and pain

Physical exams help vets identify signs of health problems, such as tumors, skin allergies, or ear infections. Because pets can’t tell us how they feel, routine exams help ensure your pet is happy and healthy.

Based on your pet’s medical history and physical exam, your vet may recommend specific preventive treatments, such as vaccines, parasite control, or weight management.

Perform Wellness Screening Tests

As part of a complete exam, your vet may recommend wellness screening tests. Wellness testing involves checkups and blood tests designed to detect early or hidden diseases in pets that appear healthy.

Cats and dogs are very good at masking illnesses, and diseases may be present even if your pet appears healthy. If a medical condition can be detected before your pet shows signs of illness, your vet can take steps to manage the problem during the early stages.

In younger pets without health complaints, simple wellness testing may be appropriate. Meanwhile, for middle-aged, senior, or geriatric pets, more comprehensive testing is usually recommended. For older dogs, your vet may recommend chest or abdominal X-rays to examine the size and appearance of internal organs, or to look for degenerative changes in the bones and joints.

Keep Vaccinations Up-to-Date

Vaccines protect pets against common, contagious, and potentially deadly diseases. Your vet will recommend vaccines based on your geographic location and your pet’s lifestyle. Core vaccines are recommended for all pets, while additional vaccines may be recommended for pets in contact with other animals.

In addition, adult pets require booster shots to maintain full protection against diseases. Boosters are typically given annually or once every three years, and your vet will let you know how often your pet requires booster shots in advance. At TriStar Vet, our animal care experts carefully design and manufacture vet exam equipment, veterinary exam tables, and other innovative animal care products for veterinarians. Contact us today for affordable, ultra-durable, ergonomic veterinary equipment that will last the lifetime of your clinic.