Annual and bi-annual exams with one of our doctors are actually a complete head-to-toe physical for your pet. An exam includes ocular, aural and oral examination, body condition score, abdominal palpation, heart and lung auscultation and overall body palpation.
- Ocular exam: Looking into your pet’s eyes allows us to visualize current or potential problems in the external and internal eye.
- Aural exam: Ear infections are very common in dogs. A dog’s ear canal is very long and deep; often, we find infections in a dog’s ears that the owners were unaware of.
- Oral exam: A look at your pet’s teeth and gums can give us an idea of potential dental problems as well as your pet’s overall health. For example, did you know you can tell how a pet is feeling by the color of his/her gums?
- Body Condition Score (BCS): The BCS is a scale (1-9) that allows us to assess your pet’s weight. This helps us formulate a diet and exercise plan that best suits your pet’s body, activity level and lifestyle.
- Abdominal palpation: Palpation is the act of feeling with one’s hands. By doing an abdominal palpation, we can actually feel some of the pet’s liver, kidneys, intestines, spleen and bladder. Most importantly, we can find abnormalities that warrant further investigation on perfectly normal and healthy pets.
- Overall body palpation: This allows us to scan the body for abnormalities, such as enlarged lymph nodes or tumors.
- Heart and lung auscultation: Auscultation is the act of listening to the internal sounds of the body with a stethoscope. This allows us to listen for normal rates and rhythms, as well as pick up murmurs and arrhythmias in otherwise normal and healthy pets.
The exam is also a time for you to discuss any concerns and ask questions. Just like you, we want your pet to have the healthiest life possible.
Discussion topics should include behavior, sleep patterns, family interactions, diet, weight and/or grooming concerns and exercise plans.
For pets with chronic diseases, recheck exams are vital. This is the time for the doctor to recheck the physical problem, reassess the pet’s illness and make a treatment plan to manage it.
At The Drake Center, our doctors personalize every exam based upon the pet’s needs and the family’s concerns. We believe that pet owners make the best decisions when they are well-informed and it is our goal to provide you with the information you need.
Our practice is based on a relationship-centered philosophy built on the trust and respect of every human and animal that walks through our doors. This philosophy involves listening to you, the client, and working together to help you make the best choices for your family.