Regular Checkups Mean Healthier Pets
Whenever a medical condition is diagnosed and treated early, the odds for successful recovery and a healthy quality of life are increased dramatically. That’s why we encourage yearly physical exams at Bemidji Veterinary Hospital. Pets age six to seven times faster than humans. One year represents approximately 5–10% of a pet’s life span. A yearly exam for your pet is comparable to a physical exam every 6–7 years for humans. We perform physical exams for a wide variety of pet types and ages.
Physical examinations of your dog or cat involve a nose-to-tail evaluation of your pet’s health. It also involves the appropriate vaccinations for your pet’s age, such as:
Puppy & Adult Dog
- Canine distemper combo, including distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvo
- Bordetella (kennel cough)
Kitten & Adult Cat
- Feline distemper combo, including feline rhinotracheitis, calici virus, panleukopenia, and chlamydia
- Feline leukemia
For older pets (from about 7 or 8 years old and up), it is important to establish a baseline of health. We do that by offering various tests, such as:
- Complete blood count (CBC)—This measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in your pet’s blood.
- Urinalysis—This detects the presence of substances that are not supposed to be in urine, such as blood. Urinalysis helps us diagnose urinary tract infections, diabetes, kidney problems, etc.
- Blood chemistry panel—This measures electrolytes, enzymes, and chemical elements such as calcium and phosphorous. This information helps your veterinarian know if organs, such as the kidneys, pancreas, and liver, are functioning well.
Senior pets are expected to show normal signs of aging, such as less stamina, hearing and vision loss, and so on. Issues like blood in the urine, pain, or tumors can be signs of something more serious. Bringing your older pet in for a regular exam helps ensure the remaining years of his or her life will be the best they can be.
For all pets, we encourage microchipping be done during their first annual exam if not sooner. Microchipping and a name tag with your phone number significantly raises the odds your lost pet will be found.
The information we obtain during a yearly physical exam becomes part of your pet’s medical history. This information can be helpful when an emergency or unexpected illness arises.