Since we don’t speak the same language as our pets, it’s hard to know when things are bothering them. It would be a lot easier if they could just tell us how they’re feeling but our pet’s tend to play it off like everything is good, even when they’re not feeling their best, making it harder to tell if something is up. Thankfully with regular check-ups, the Brook Farm Veterinary Center team will be able to make sure your pet is in tip-top shape. We want to save your pets from any discomfort and the best way to do this is by staying on top of scheduled exams and vaccinations.
Routine veterinary visits will help your pet live a longer and healthier life! The early phase of a serious medical condition can quietly develop in a perfectly healthy-looking dog or cat. Since our pet’s age faster than we do, it’s important to know that diseases can also advance more quickly, and early prevention is the key to great overall health. A thorough physical exam with routine screening tests is recommended for your pet at least once per year.
What is your veterinarian looking for during an exam?
The physical exam your veterinarian performs may look like a thorough petting, but to our Brook Farm professionals it reveals a bunch of important information about your pet’s health.
Ears - When we check your pet’s ears during an exam we are checking for mites, signs of yeast or bacterial infections, inflammation, redness, and growing masses or polyps that may need to be removed.
Eyes - More commonly than not, we see eye problems in breeds with flat faces like bulldogs, pugs, Persians, and more. If a flat-faced pet has protruding eyes they can easily develop corneal ulcers. Breeds such as Schnauzers frequently deal with cataracts and Cocker Spaniels are known to suffer from having dry eyes. If your pet is suffering from having glaucoma that is going untreated, your pet will suffer with severe eye pain from the increased pressure. This can lead to a potential loss of vision and a need for surgical removal.
Mouth - Oral health equals overall health. Your Brook Farm Veterinarian will look for signs of gingivitis, loose teeth, tartar accumulation and oral masses. A dirty mouth can harm your pet’s heart, kidneys and other organs and should be taken seriously.
Skin - Dry, itchy skin can indicate a variety of health issues, as well as hair loss. Your pet’s overall health can be gauged from the quality of her skin and hair coat.
Heart and lungs - Cardiac disease is best managed when signs first appear. These signs are often picked up with only a stethoscope, leading your vet to conduct further diagnostic testing. Many pets hide heart disease, only displaying coughing and exercise intolerance even when the disease is advanced. A diseased heart can affect the lungs, which can create chest wheezes and crackles if the fluid backs up.
Abdomen — What may look like a belly massage is actually when your veterinarian will perform an abdominal palpation on your pet. They are checking for abnormal masses and organ size. If they feel that your pet’s kidney is enlarged this could indicate renal failure, a thickened bladder may be hiding a chronic urinary tract infection, and an enlarged spleen may be feeding a tumor.
Muscles, joints, and bones — If you’ve noticed changes in your pet’s gait, limping, or muscle loss we have ways to help. Almost all older pets suffer from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis causes stiffness and muscle loss from inactivity typically due to pain. Another common musculoskeletal issue our dogs experience involves their cranial cruciate ligament, which is prone to rupture in overweight or active pets. Comparable to an ACL tear in human athletes, this injury can cause serious joint-health problems for your pet if not correctly managed.
At Brook Farm Veterinary Center, an AAHA-Accredited hospital, our veterinarians will examine your pet from nose to tail, and based on their findings, may recommend additional diagnostic testing to keep your pet in their best health possible.