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During a routine wellness examination, your veterinarian will ask you questions about your pet’s diet, exercise, thirst, breathing, behavior, habits, elimination patterns (i.e., bowel movements and urination), lifestyle, and general health. Your veterinarian will also perform a physical examination of your pet. Based on your pets history and physical examination, your veterinarian will then make recommendations for specific preventive medicine treatments such as vaccinations, parasite control (including preventive treatments for fleas, ticks, intestinal parasites and heartworms), nutrition, skin and coat care, weight management or dental care. In addition, your veterinarian will discuss your pets individual circumstances and decide whether any other life-stage or lifestyle recommendations would be appropriate.
In addition to the exam, wellness screening tests may be recommended. Pets cannot tell you how they are feeling, and as a result, disease may be present before you are aware of it. To further complicate matters, as part of their survival instincts most pets will hide signs of subclinical disease (i.e., a disease that is in its early stages and is only causing minimal symptoms). This means that a health condition may become highly advanced before your pet shows any obvious or recognizable problems.