Years of running, jumping and walking take a toll on your pet's joints. When your once energetic cat or dog starts to slows down or appears to be in pain, osteoarthritis may be to blame. The disea ...View Article
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On average, your pet ages 7 years for every year you do. Because of this rapid aging, your pet should receive bi-annual examinations from Harrisburg Veterinary Clinic in order to maintain optimum health. This is a great time for your doctor to take a really close look at your pet.
Your pet will receive a comprehensive nose to tail physical exam. It is important to report anything abnormal you have noticed about your pet prior to bringing them in for their exam. We will take your pet’s temperature, which should be between 101 and 102.5 degrees, slightly higher than your normal temperature. We will examine all of your pet’s major body systems. We will also weigh your pet so we can make dietary, nutritional, and exercise recommendations.
The skin and coat are really excellent indicators of your pet’s health. We can look at your pet’s coat and can see right away if there is something wrong. The coat should be shiny, not brittle and coarse, and the skin should be clean and not greasy and flaky. We check for bumps, rashes, infection, hair loss, excessive dander, and parasites.
We will examine your pet’s eyes, checking for signs of disease such as: redness, discharge, corneal clarity, pupillary responsiveness, and we will also examine the retina and optic nerve, in the back of the eye. We examine both ears looking for evidence of growths, parasites, the integrity of the tympanic membrane, and especially infections. Often, infections start deep in the ear canal and may not be noticed until they are advanced. We will teach you how to clean and treat your pet’s ears if medications are required.
We examine your pet’s nose for any discharge or abnormal appearance. Your pet will receive an oral health assessment, including checking the teeth and gums, monitoring for evidence of tartar or periodontal disease. Oral hygiene is a significant contributor to the overall health of your pet and we stress prevention through routine dental cleanings and regular home care.
A careful evaluation of the abdomen is part of the physical exam. We palpate your pet’s abdomen for masses, pain, enlarged organs, and other abnormalities. We check your pet’s legs and joints to ensure your pet has full range of motion and shows no signs of pain or discomfort from torn ligaments or osteoarthritis.
We check your pet’s heart and lungs with a stethoscope, listening for wheezing, crackles, heart murmurs and other abnormal lung sounds.
The back end is examined for flea dirt, fleas, anal gland problems, and growths. If you bring a sample of your pet’s stool, we can test for parasites. Your pet will have their anal glands checked and emptied if necessary.
Both paws and toenails are examined for overgrown toenails or pododermatitis (infection of the feet), which is very common in pets with skin allergies. Nails are trimmed, if required. We will also provide you with a list of any routine vaccinations or lab work required.
Your pet’s health starts with a thorough and complete physical exam. Give us a call to set your appointment at (713) 921-3300.