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Clinton Veterinary Hospital advises that all animals undergo an annual health check examination. This is carried out at the time of the annual vaccination to enable early detection of diseases. 

A general examination consisting of inspection and observation is performed. The experienced clinician often makes this general examination while simultaneously obtaining verbal history from the owner, should further observation or diagnostics be necessary, pricing and recommendations will be discussed. As part of the general examination, the clinician needs to establish the habitus—the attitude, condition, conformation, and temperament—of the animal.

During the health evaluation, our veterinarian will examine: 

  • Obtaining the animal's medical history.
  • Evaluation of the pet's vitals; Weight, temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate.
  • Thoroughly listening to the heart and lungs to ensure there are no possible infection or irregularities.
  • Methodically examining every part of the animal from nose to tail to document any abnormalities.
  • Observing the pet sit, stand and walk, to see if there are any indications of pain, stiffness, weakness or wobbliness.
  • Limbs are examined and appropriately rotated for causes of lameness swelling and pain along with indications of arthritis and tumors. 
  • Assessment of the pet's face for any signs of eye or nose discharge, swelling or asymmetry.
  • Assessment of the pet's ears signs of inflammation, infection, or other disease.
  • Assessing the overall alertness and appearance of the pet.
  • Abdomen is palpated for any indications of herniation, 0painful areas or abnormalities associated with internal organs.
  • Evaluating the pet's skin and hair coat for any areas of hair loss, inflammation or parasites such as fleas, ticks, lice, mites and tumors. 
  • Nails are trimmed and anal glands evacuated as necessary at an additional cost. 

We ask our clients to bring a urine or fecal sample from their pet when applicable if addressing an issue such as urinary concerns, gastrointestinal concerns, or any association with yearly exams.

We advise that elderly animals are examined twice a year as problems can often develop quickly at this stage of life. If problems are detected, further investigation will be discussed, and any further appointments will be made as necessary. 

Early detection is vital to prevent unnecessary pain and distress. Often, early treatment also enables the progression of a disease, ensuring a better quality of life.