To ensure a proper diagnosis when there are issues of concern, and as part of all of our preventive care packages, your pet will need to come in for a medical assessment including a comprehensive physical examination. During an exam, Dr. Gray or one of his Associate Veterinarians begin with watching your pet while asking you questions about your pet’s diet, exercise, thirst, breathing, behavior, habits, elimination and general health. He is looking for any changes in health, behavior or attitude compared to your pet’s prior history.
The hands-on physical exam begins with a visual examination of your pet’s skin while feeling or palpating for lumps and bumps and any abnormal skin changes. A thorough examination process begins at the nose and works back to the tip of the tail. The oral cavity is examined for gingivitis, tooth problems and tumors. The eyes and ears are examined with the proper instruments. The associated lymph nodes are palpated in this region of the body for size changes. The front legs and joints are palpated for any problems. A stethoscope is used to auscultate the heart and lungs. The abdomen is palpated for changes in organ size or fluid accumulation or any tenderness. Then the hips and knees (stifles) are felt and examined for signs of lameness, muscle problems, nerve problems, arthritis, crepitus, etc. Again, the lymph nodes in the region are checked. Then the rectal area is examined for tumors and the tail is checked from base to tip.
Once the comprehensive physical exam is completed, the veterinarian will discuss any abnormalities or areas of concern with you. This is your time to ask questions or share your concerns. The veterinarian will make recommendations for specific preventive treatments, nutrition, skin and coat care, weight management and dental care based on your pet’s history and the examination. They may also perform blood and/or urine tests as necessary to check your pet’s kidneys, liver, pancreas, and endocrine system, including the thyroid and adrenal glands. Based on your pet’s condition, they may recommend further diagnostic tests such as radiography (x-rays), endoscopy (internal scoping), ultrasound, or biopsy. When your appointment is completed, one of our exam room technicians will give you an examination report card for your information and records. It will include any recommended follow-up care or appointments that were discussed.
If you’re concerned that something may be wrong with your pet, please call us to schedule a medical assessment including a comprehensive physical examination. Depending on the symptoms, we may ask you to bring in your pet right away. Dr. Gray and his associates strive to stay current on the newest diseases, latest diagnostics and treatments in order to practice the best medicine possible and keep you educated and well informed. Our veterinarians endeavor to spend quality time with clients to ensure your understanding and comfort level with all aspects of your pet’s needs. It is our goal at Timber Valley Pet Hospital to practice a personal approach to veterinary medicine in order to ease your concerns and worries during what can be a difficult time.