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Blogs and Stories

October 30, 2020
Amy Wade Carotenuto

Doctor Veterinarian

"The best doctor in the world is a veterinarian...
He can’t ask his patients – What’s the matter?
He’s just got to know."
- Will Rogers

Whether your pet is a youngster, a grown up or a senior citizen, regular check-ups are critical to your pets’ well-being and quality of life.

Animals are unable to tell us in words when something is bothering them. We may think that we can read our pets and will know if they are hurting. If we don’t see limping or scratching, if they are still playing, eating and eliminating, they must be fine, right? Well, maybe yes and maybe no. Some animals are stoic and hide their pain and discomfort. Also, just like us, some of the most dangerous health issues may begin with no discomfort.

A yearly physical exam is the only way to detect early signs of disease.

So what actually happens during that physical exam of your pet?

Vital signs: checked to ensure that your pet has a normal temperature and weight.
Eyes: examination of cornea, lens, sclera and eye lids
Mouth: teeth, gums and tongue are examined for disease, growths, inflammation and abnormalities. Bad breath can be a sign of dental disease or can even be a sign of a systemic issue like kidney disease. Dental disease is linked to heart disease and decreases your pets longevity by 30%.
Ears: The external ear canal examined for inflammation, purulent material and parasites like ear mites.
Skin: Itchy animals may have parasites, food or flea allergies. The veterinarian looks for signs of infection or inflammation, loss of hair, changes in skin pigmentation, lumps and bumps.
Joints: palpation and range of motion. Swelling and/or crepitaiton may be a sign of injury or osteoarthritis. Most geriatric pets with mobility issues benefit from pain relievers and joint supplements daily.
Heart and lungs: A stethoscope is used to listen to your pet’s heart, focusing on the beat, rate and rhythm and assessing murmurs or arrhythmias. We listen to the lungs to determine the air flow and diagnose asthma, pneumonia or upper respiratory infections. It is vital that your pet have a yearly heartworm test because this prevalent Florida disease will cause heart failure in your pet.
Abdominal palpation: This evaluation helps to feel your pet’s liver, intestines, kidneys and bladder for abnormalities.
Rectal and Fecal: Bring a fresh stool sample to rule out intestinal parasites. Anal glands are checked and expressed if necessary.


As important as pets are to your family, we want to do everything we can to help them live a long healthy life. If you would like to schedule an appointment with our veterinary staff, give us a call at:
386-445-1814.

Fees for the initial exam are collected at the time of scheduling to avoid “no shows”.
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