Wales Animal Clinic wants to make your pet a wellness champion, so we ask you to be a contestant in our game. Here, we present pet wellness information, with our answers in question form. Keep your pet out of “Jeopardy” by learning about the importance of wellness screenings and prevention methods.

Clue #1: A chance to detect changes in your pet’s skin appearance, heart sounds, and more

Answer: What is a pet wellness screening physical exam?

At your pet’s initial wellness visit, our veterinary team will carefully record your pet’s health history, and develop a custom lifetime wellness plan that, depending on your pet’s age and health status, will include regular check-ups every 3, 6, or 12 months, and involve a nose-to-tail physical exam, testing, and vaccinations. The foundation of any pet’s wellness screening is the physical examination, when our team checks for a multitude of possible problems, including skin and dental conditions, and listens carefully to your pet’s heart and lungs to detect unseen abnormalities, such as a heart murmur. 

Clue #2: A quick, pet-side blood screen for four common pet diseases

Answer: What is annual heartworm and tick-borne disease testing?

We will obtain a small amount of blood during your pet’s exam and run a quick pet-side heartworm screening test. We follow the American Heartworm Society’s recommendation of heartworm antigen testing, which also screens for tick-borne diseases, at least annually.  

Clue #3: A method to easily detect and chart undesired pet weight loss or gain

Answer: What is pet weight screening?

When we weight screen your pet, we obtain some of the most helpful information about your pet’s health—and placing your pet on our scale is all that’s required. Knowing your pet’s weight and weight trends helps us formulate their best nutrition and exercise plan. We know that accurately weighing your pet at home and detecting gradual weight changes is difficult, but gradual changes “add up,” so using our office professional scales at each weigh-in helps ensure accuracy.

Clue #4: An opportunity to discuss aging pet changes

Answer: What is a senior pet wellness exam? 

As your pet gets older, you likely are seeing more lumps and bumps on their skin, as well as other subtle changes. At your senior pet’s wellness exam, we will:

  • Measure and chart any growths, and assess their seriousness through fine-needle aspirates and cytology
  • Look for subtle changes in their eyes, vision, hearing, breathing, heart function, and muscle condition
  • Check for stiff joints and back pain
  • Examine their mouth thoroughly for periodontal disease and tooth problems

A regular hands-on examination by our team, which we recommend every six months, is the foundation of your senior pet’s health.

Clue #5: A chance to detect a serious problem at an early stage

Answer: Why does a pet wellness screening include lab work? 

Did you know that pet wellness screening lab work reveals problems in one in seven adult pets, one in five senior pets, and two in five geriatric pets? Wellness screening lab tests, which include a complete blood count, chemistry panel, urinalysis, and thyroid level testing, uncover problems before your pet shows signs of a problem. For example, your pet may be losing protein in their urine, but showing no signs of abnormality. A urinalysis will uncover anemia, prompt blood pressure testing and further testing to slow disease progression, and allow us to begin medicating your pet sooner. Discovering problems early gives you time to learn about and be prepared for the issue, and allows us to monitor trends, and start treatment and support early.

Clue #6: A plan to best care for someone who hides their pain, and can’t tell you how they feel

Answer: What is regular pet wellness screening?

Pets can’t communicate with words. Also, pets are experts at hiding their pain, and pet owners can miss many issues. For example, you would likely not detect blood in the urine of an older pet who urinates outside, or you could easily miss a chronic but significant problem like arthritis that starts slowly and worsens only gradually. A problem you consider normal for your pet can be significant. However, regular pet wellness screenings will reveal such problems.

To attain and keep wellness for your pet, answer the final challenge:

Final category: Pets

Final clue: How you ensure your pet’s optimal condition—happy and healthy, and free from pain and stress 

Final answer: What is pet wellness?

We hope you enjoyed being a contestant on our pet wellness game show! Call Wales Animal Clinic to schedule your pet’s wellness screening to keep them out of “Jeopardy,” and make them champions of health.