Annual Health Examination

Our practice priority is preventative medicine programs, which help to ensure your pet receives all preventative measures against disease and parasitism.  This also involves an annual health examination to help with early detection of some of the more subtle courses of disease, such as dental disease, lumps and bumps, weight loss and some endocrine diseases.  We recommend that each year every pet has an annual health examination and vaccination review. 

At every visit, we work hard to make the experience a positive one for both you and your pet.  The tasty liver treats we offer have managed to turn some shy dogs into genuinely eager vet visitors.  These treats help mask any negative experiences (like the sharp needly ones!) and allow almost all pets to leave the consult room with a happy face and wagging tail.  Every staff member at DMVS is a lover of all animals (obviously!), so you can be assured that your pets will be treated with the highest level of respect, care and genuine affection both in the consult room and while staying in hospital.

Annual health examinations

A yearly examination, often with a vaccine review, can detect problems in your pet before they threaten health.  Remember that pets age 7-9 times faster than humans, so an annual visit to your vet is the equivalent to a visit to your doctor every 7-9 years!

An annual health examination of your pet involves a thorough examination of multiple body systems.  We check the pet right from the front to the back, including eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, gums, lymph nodes, heart and lungs, abdomen, bones and joints and skin.  Any abnormal finding will be discussed with you, and there may be indication for some more testing, such as samples of skin, lumps, or blood tests.  Nothing further than a hands on examination will be performed without first gaining your consent.

Some examples of problems that can be picked up during an annual health examination are things that may be more obvious to the eye, such as skin tumours.  Skin cancer can be seen in dogs as young as 3 years, which may shock some people.  White skinned dogs are more prone to skin cancers, and are often the worst at sunbaking.  The first signs of sun damage to the skin is raised, thickened and reddened areas of white skin.  Other skin tumours such as mast cell tumours (Boxers, Staffys & Mastiffs are particularly prone to these but they can happen in all breeds) can be very nasty even if they are small in size and do not seem to be causing any problem to the dog.  These lumps can be assessed by sticking a needle into them, collecting some cells, and examining the cells under the microscope.  Early detection, and therefore treatment, of these tumours can mean a great deal to your pet’s longevity!  Other things that may be identified during the annual health examination are more subtle things, such as dental disease, and the very subtle signs of lots of endocrine (hormone) diseases, early signs of kidney and liver disease, the signs of arthritis, and many many more. 

It is also important to consider our elderly pets and the faster rate of ageing of pets compared to humans.  While we recommend at least an annual health examination in all pets, it may be in your elderly pet’s best interest to have a more frequent health examination, such as every 6 months, as an extra safeguard.

Annual vaccination review

Please visit our Annual Vaccination Review page for this important information.