My pet is healthy, why do they need a wellness check?

Wellness checks are becoming very popular within the veterinary profession. They allow us to get to meet both you and your pet more frequently, helping us to get to know each other really well. There are lots of reasons why wellness checks are a great idea for you and your pet.

Prognosis is always better if the disease is caught at an early stage. By bringing your pet in regularly, we can get to know your pet’s behaviour, what they like/dislike and their normal energy levels. This helps us to notice any gradual changes that you might not pick up on when seeing them daily. Every time you visit, we will perform an examination and take comprehensive notes regarding your pet’s health and log them onto the computer, making it easy to track any changes. Our thorough checks mean it is sometimes possible that we detect disease prior to any clinical signs showing. It is better to keep track of your pet’s health and be aware of any minor issues so we can prevent them from spiralling out of control! The sooner we notice any signs of common diseases such as arthritis, periodontal disease, heart disease or kidney problems, the sooner we will be able to offer changes to your pet’s lifestyle to improve their welfare, decrease any pain or distress and increase the amount of happiness they can experience in their life!

Regular visits to the vets mean that if your pet does need to come to the vets due to an illness, we will be able to assess their pain and attitude much better by analysing their behaviour compared to what their normal behaviour is like. This is important because the more your pet comes to the vets, the less stress and pain is associated with the environment and smells associated with the vet practice. This is good because high-stress levels can interfere and cause false results in some of our tests – and of course, it’s better and nicer for them too!

Even for healthy pets, some lifestyle changes can benefit them. We’ll always check and look for any signs of common issues that go wrong in pets. The main things we look at are:

Teeth. Pets’ teeth often become diseased. Around 1 in 3 dogs suffer from dental disease. Periodontal disease occurs when plaque on the teeth is converted to tartar due to substances in the saliva. Most pets only have one set of adult teeth so they are not replaced. Bad breath, bright red gums and stained teeth are key signs of tooth disease. This disease is irreversible, but with the correct management, we are able to greatly reduce the speed at which the disease spreads.

Changes in diet. We can offer tips on weight management, exercise routines and diet plans (timing of feeding, calorie content and nutritional values for macro and micronutrients). We can also advise on supplements, for example for cats with cystitis or dogs with arthritis.

Anal glands. Some dogs occasionally need their anal glands emptying. Dogs are meant to release them when they go to the toilet naturally – however, many of our pets struggle to do so. The glands get bigger and bigger, becoming painful. We can assess the anal glands for infection and feel the size of them notifying us about how often they need to be expressed.

Claw trimming. Many pets end up with claws that grow much too long. This can make it difficult when walking on hard ground. Trimming the claws is normally a very quick job, however, if you do it wrong and cut the nail too short, they can bleed and cause discomfort. While it’s not dangerous, it can be messy! Therefore, we recommend you asking a vet or nurse to perform nail trimming for you!

Overall, wellness checks for healthy pets are just as important as for ill pets – prevention is always better than cure! And that’s something we’re here to help with… check out the Monument Pet Health Plan for more details!