Wellness Care for Your Pet

Preventative Care: The Key to a Long and Happy Life

Wellness Care for Your PetAs medical professionals we understand that in order to provide your pet with a long and happy life while also reducing the overall cost of pet care, our focus has to be on prevention. This is why San Benito Animal Hospital recommends yearly wellness exams that include thorough screenings for a number of common diseases and ailments. As your pet enters his or her senior years these screenings become even more important, which is why we have developed a specialized senior wellness protocol.

We also offer regular vaccinations to protect your pet from a range of preventable and dangerous diseases as well as routine dental care, identity microchips, cancer diagnosis and treatment, specialized ear care, emergency medical care, internal medical services, soft tissue surgeries, advanced diagnostic testing capabilities, and more.

Perhaps the most important piece of your pet’s care is strong client/doctor communication. It is important that we hear from you how your pet is doing and any concerns you may have. It is also our responsibility and duty to empower you with the information necessary to provide the best and most compassionate care for your pet at home. Though our medical knowledge is wide and deep, it is of little use to you and your pet if we do not share it.

In all, we strive to provide the highest level of service to you and care to your pet in a warm, safe and inviting atmosphere. Please take a look at the services we offer and why we believe they are important. Then feel free to give us a call at (956) 399-3221 to make an appointment.

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Your Pet’s Wellness Exam

Has your pet had a recent physical exam?

A regular physical examination is just as important for your pet as it is for you, especially since our pets can’t tell us how they feel. San Benito Animal Hospital recommends a complete nose-to-tail physical examination at least once a year, though more frequent exams are encouraged.

A routine examination provides you and your veterinarian with the opportunity to develop a picture of your pet's overall health as well as to spot potential medical issues before they become serious health concerns. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask your veterinarian important questions about your pet’s health, habits and daily care. We also use this time to inform you about home healthcare for your pet and offer important advice and new information on the care of your particular type and breed of animal.

During your pet’s wellness checkup, we will:

Listen to your pet’s heart – Early signs of cardiac disease such as heart murmurs and abnormal heart beat patterns known as arrhythmias can be heard through a stethoscope. Discovering these initial indicators of an underlying condition will lead to treatment before it becomes a more serious health threat.

Listen to your pet’s lungs – Health issues such as infections, obstructive diseases and other problems can be detected by listening to your pet's lungs through a stethoscope. The doctor can also assess the overall pulmonary health of your pet.

>Check your pet’s teeth and oral cavity – Examining your pet’s teeth and mouth is an important part of preventing dental disease. Infections and other forms of dental disease can lead to very serious systemic health issues. We also take the time to discuss proper home dental care with you.

Evaluate your pet’s vision – Ocular conditions—such as glaucoma, corneal ulcers and dry eye—can be prevented or better treated through regular care and screenings.

Look into your pet’s ears – As with dental disease, ear disease is relatively common in many types of pets. Regular examinations can prevent most forms of ear disease from developing or stop its progression before it causes a serious health concern.

Palpate the lymph nodes, abdomen and skin – By feeling these areas, we are looking for unusual lumps or swellings as well as evaluating the skin for discolorations, lesions or patterns of hair loss or thinning. These can indicate the presence of more systemic problems, especially metabolic diseases, which most commonly occur in middle-aged animals.

Palpate joints and muscles – By examining the joints, legs and other areas of the body, we are able to evaluate for swollen joints, decreased muscle tone and variations in muscle size between the limbs that may indicate developing orthopedic issues. In older pets, we look for signs of arthritis, which can be treated if found early.

Lab work – A complete physical includes a heartworm test and should include a full blood workup. Not only can a full chemistry panel and complete blood count identify the presence of underlying disease processes, but these tests help create a baseline should your pet become ill between routine examinations. Blood work is also highly recommended prior to procedures that require anesthesia.

We should also emphasize that our area of the country has an especially high prevalence of heartworm. It is very important to place your dog on heartworm prevention medications as well as to undergo routine checks.

Parasite Testing – Checking your pet for intestinal parasites is an important component of any preventative care plan. Not only is this a healthy choice for your pet, but for your family as well. For example, parasites such as hookworms are considered zoonotic, which means they can infect humans too.

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