The Importance of Early Cat & Dog Disease Screenings

Regular physical examinations and routine diagnostic tests are essential for your pet. Changes in your pet’s health can occur at any time and may not be clear to you as some diseases and conditions have few obvious visual signs. This could mean potentially long periods of time may go by that you think your dog or cat is fine, when in reality they are suffering through illness.

This is the case especially with cats, who have been trained through generations in the wild to hide their ailments even when experiencing extreme discomfort.

How Can Early Disease Screening Help?

Successful disease screening allows for earlier intervention and generally a better prognosis for your pet. Many breeds can be predisposed to diseases, so comprehensive examinations twice a year and routine diagnostics can catch problems early, when they are easiest to treat. Prescreening for certain diseases also gives your veterinarian a baseline of your pet’s current health status to work from as your pet ages.

What Is Included in a Comprehensive Exam?

Generally, a comprehensive exam will be conducted via a “nose to tail” approach, intended to check your pet for any issues in the following ways.

  • An otoscopic exam (ears)
  • An ophthalmic exam (eyes)
  • A rectal exam
  • A dental exam
  • A neurologic evaluation
  • A cardiovascular evaluation
  • A weight assessment
  • A coat & skin evaluation
  • An abdominal palpation
  • An urogenital evaluation
  • An orthopedic evaluation
  • A pulmonary and lung evaluation

How Can a Diagnostic Evaluation Help?

A diagnostic evaluation will help your veterinarian understand things about your pet’s health that cannot be seen or felt in a strictly-physical exam. A diagnostic evaluation typically includes:

An Optimum Wellness Plan® Can Help

With an Optimum Wellness Plan®, you can rest assured that your dog or cat will be receiving a great preventive care package that includes twice-yearly comprehensive physical exams, early disease screenings, unlimited hospital visits, routinely recommended vaccines, and so much more. We recommend at least twice-yearly visits to the veterinarian, with more sometimes required for older or ailing pets.

Need More Information?

To discuss your pet’s preventive care needs, contact your local veterinarian, review our Pet Health libraries, or learn more about Banfield’s dedication to prevention.

Updated October 17, 2015