Cat and Dog Wellness Exams in Boca Raton, FL
Your pet’s complete, ongoing health is our highest priority here at Boca Palms Animal Hospital, in Boca Raton. From their very first visit and for every year thereafter, our aim is to establish a health baseline and provide your pet with the routine care they need to maintain their wellness.
Dogs and cats age about 5-6 years for one human year, which means health changes can happen quickly, too. With annual cat and dog exams, blood and fecal testing, and vaccinations, we can keep up with these changes and minimize or even prevent a variety of ailments in our patients.
What to Expect?
No matter the purpose of your visit, our nurse will check your pet’s vital signs. Vital signs are measurements of the body’s most basic functions. The main vital signs we routinely monitor are body temperature, pulse rate and respiratory rate.
The veterinary nurse will then take a thorough medical history (sometimes just updating since we last treated your pet or in the case of new pets, over the pet’s lifetime). Once we have this information, we move onto the external exam.
External Exam: Here we go by what we see, what we feel and what we hear. We examine the surface of your pet (nose, eyes, ears, teeth, hair, skin, feet, and tail area). We palpate the abdomen, listen to the heart, lungs, and abdominal area. Based on findings here, we may recommend an internal exam.
Internal Exam aka Diagnostic Testing. Pet parents often ask the question, “Are bloodwork or radiographs really necessary?” The long answer is “Yes”. The internal exam allows the veterinarian to spot early signs of countless diseases which often show up on bloodwork or radiographs before you notice any changes on the outside.
Vaccinations: Keeping your pet up-to-date on immunizations and booster shots is a highly effective way to prevent many common diseases and infections like distemper and rabies. Beyond those core vaccines, your pet’s age, lifestyle, and likely exposure to certain diseases will be evaluated before we recommend additional inoculations.
Dental Care: Imagine what your teeth would be like if you never cleaned them. Well, the same thing is happening to your pet’s teeth without good oral care. We recommend annual dental cleanings and can show you tips for brushing your pet’s teeth, which can reduce the need for expensive extractions and more serious dental work down the line.
Following the routine cat or dog exam, we will then:
- Discuss and address any health or behavior problems we may have observed
- We will administer any vaccine boosters your pet needs
- Perform necessary tests (blood work, fecal, radiographs)
- Administer and or prescribe parasite treatments and prevention
- Review and prescribe nutritional recommendations (your pet’s diet will change as they grow)
- All the time you need to ask questions and get the information you need to provide the best care for your pet
Spaying and neutering can also count as a wellness service, since they prevent certain diseases and infections from developing in dogs and cats.
Every Pet Needs Full-Coverage Parasite Protection
Fleas, ticks worms – preventing them in the first place is much easier and ultimately less expensive than getting rid of them after they’ve infested your pet. We recommend monitoring your pet and having them screened for internal parasites regularly, and we offer a variety of alternatives for flea, tick, and heartworm prevention
Parasites are more than pests; they can spread disease or cause allergic reactions in pets.
Common parasitic conditions include:
Heartworms are transmitted to pets by infected mosquitoes, and travel through the bloodstream to your pet’s heart. They can greatly weaken the heart and even shorten your pet’s lifespan if they are not treated in time.
Lyme disease is transmitted by certain ticks, such as the blacklegged/deer tick. This disease can cause swelling and pain in the joints, fever, and a decrease in appetite, and it can be transmitted to humans, too.
Some pets develop an allergic reaction to flea bites. This is due to certain chemicals found in flea saliva. Symptoms include severely itchy skin, and possible skin infection caused by licking and scratching.
Hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms can also wreak havoc on your pet’s internal systems. A fecal test can indicate whether your pet has any of these parasites. We carry a number of high-quality parasite preventatives here at our hospital, and will be happy to recommend the best ones for your pet to keep them parasite-and disease-free.
We highly recommend writing down any questions and concerns you have about your pet and bringing them to their annual appointment. This way, you won’t forget anything and we’ll have the opportunity to address every issue promptly.
Instead of worrying about whether your pet is healthy or trying to figure things out on your own, just pick up the phone and give us a call. We will be happy to talk with you and bring a sense of understanding about next steps. Call us today at 561-395-4030.