We recommend a complete physical examination (www.HealthyPetCheckup.org) for all pets on their first visit to us. This enables us to establish a baseline of what is normal for the pet, regardless the age at which the pet is first examined. Once this baseline is established, we recommend an annual physical examination for most pets. Depending upon the age and any existing medical conditions, we may recommend more frequent examinations, but an annual examination is strongly recommended for each and every one of our patients. World of Animals at Bethayres, Inc. offers a wide range of medical, surgical, and dental services to its clients. Perhaps the most important service we offer is the comprehensive physical examination. The physical examination often affords us the first opportunity to identify an existing or impending problem with a pet. Whether done on a routine annual basis or as a result of the owner’s reports of a problem, the physical exam provides clues to the existence of problems and often leads to the recommendation of diagnostic testing to more clearly identify the problem.
The examination involves looking the animal over from head-to-toe, feeling for lumps and bumps both inside and outside the body, checking for tooth or gum disease, checking ears, limbs, skin, and eyes, and listening to the heart and lungs for problems. Sometimes a rectal examination is performed as well. Some eye problems require a closer look with an ophthalmoscope. Ear canals may need to be examined with an otoscope.
Sometimes the doctor receives important clues about problems just by watching the animal. Breathing patterns, awareness, general body condition, and gait can all be evaluated just by watching the animal’s demeanor when in the exam room. A thorough physical exam can take just a couple of minutes or much longer depending upon the animal’s general health and the nature of any problems found.