Regular physical examination is of the utmost importance – often problems are detected that, if untreated, would progress to serious illness. A complete physical examination is done routinely and involves an assessment of all body systems. The doctor uses visual observation, a stethoscope (to listen to the heart, lungs, and GI sounds), an otoscope (to look in ear canals), an ophthalmoscope (to look in the eyes), and palpation of lymph nodes, joints, and abdominal organs.
Routine laboratory testing such as fecal flotations and heartworm tests diagnose internal parasites. Vaccinations, a hallmark of preventative medicine, are used carefully and selectively to prevent serious contagious diseases. We follow the vaccination guidelines put out by the major veterinary teaching hospitals in America. The vaccine types recommended and the frequency of vaccination vary depending on the lifestyle of the pet being vaccinated, i.e. indoor vs outdoor pets, travel plans, kennel/boarding plans, and underlying disease conditions such as immune-mediated diseases or pre-existing infections such as FIV infection. Because these factors may change over time, we recommend the vaccination plan for each pet be decided upon by the owner and the veterinarian at routine annual examinations.