When you first bring your puppy home, you will of course be focused on getting her settled in to her new environment and family. However, there are several things that you will need to make a priority in the days and weeks after her arrival. One of those should be arranging a puppy wellness care exam for her.
What are puppy wellness care exams?
Wellness care exams are routinely performed with the aim of assessing and monitoring the health and condition of our pets. Veterinarians in Memphis TN almost always recommend that you schedule an appointment for a wellness exam shortly after you bring your puppy home for the first time. This provides them with the opportunity to create a medical record for your puppy, against which the results of future wellness exams, as well as any interim visits to their offices, can be noted. Over the coming years, this record will be referred to if medical problems arise, as well as proactively, to determine if any health issues may be developing. By doing this, your vet in Memphis can spot any potential illnesses or conditions as they are still developing, enabling them to diagnose, possibly deter or prevent the problem from becoming worse.
After her initial puppy wellness care exam, you should ideally arrange for her to visit your veterinarian in Memphis TN for a check-up at least once per year, or at the frequency recommended by your professional.
What will happen during my puppy’s wellness care exam?
Every veterinarian is different, and this means that exactly what will be included in your puppy’s wellness care exam will depend on what services are offered. Nevertheless, there are some aspects of the appointment which are considered to be fairly standard. Most veterinarians provide a comprehensive wellness exam including:
This is an informal chat with your vet where you will be asked questions about your puppy’s behavior and lifestyle. You may be asked what and how often she eats, how much she drinks, what her bowel movement and urination pattern is like, and how much exercise she gets. These aren’t to judge you, but purely to build up a picture of what is ‘normal’ for your pet. If there are any recommendations that your vet can make that would improve the health and wellbeing of your puppy, your vet will make these now.
Unsurprisingly, your pup’s wellness exam will also include a physical examination. This will include looking at:
- How she stands and walks
- Her weight and general body condition (whether she is in proportion and a healthy size)
- The quality and condition of her coat. Poor condition can be indicative of an underlying health problem.
- The quality and condition of her skin. Dermatitis is a common problem in animals, including puppies.
- Her eyes, ears, nose and face, checking for any abnormalities or signs of problems such as swelling or infection.
- Her mouth and teeth to check for periodontal disease, abnormal lumps and bumps and other dental problems.
- Her lymph nodes, assessing for any swelling or pain.
- The rhythm of her heart
- How fast and effectively she breathes
- Her pulse rate
- Her legs and paws, assessing for muscle problems or issues with the paw pads or claws
- Her internal organs. This is done by palpating her abdomen so that your vet can feel the organs to check that they are the right size and in the right place.
- Her general behavior and alertness
Preventative Care Recommendations
Preventative care extends beyond just tracking the health of your puppy. Vaccinations and medications to protect against infectious diseases and parasites is also a crucial element of your appointment. Your vet will be able to tell you if any vaccinations are necessary and which parasite preventatives should be administered. Your vet will also work with you to create a schedule of preventative care so that you can be certain that there is no point when your puppy might be left vulnerable to infectious diseases, parasite problems and subsequent illness.
Blood, urine and fecal testing (if recommended, additional charges may apply)
This may not necessarily be recommended at your puppy’s first wellness care exam but may be something requested at future appointments. These types of tests give your veterinarian a clearer picture of what is happening inside your pet’s body including how well her immune system is functioning, and how well her organs and body systems are working.
If you need to schedule an appointment for a puppy wellness care exam, our friendly and experienced team would be happy to help. Please contact our veterinarians in Memphis TN at 901-617-4711 to schedule your puppy’s visit.