sma_exam_shirley2Annual Exam

What can I do to ensure my pets health?

Pets are always communicating with us but unfortunately, they cannot talk.

We may not realize if a minor ailment is developing until it becomes a full-blown problem.

The annual physical examination is the best way to ensure a healthy pet as well as happy owner. Hopefully, this will be the only time you and your pet will see one of our veterinarians.

Annual Visit

During your annual visit, prior to administering any vaccinations, your veterinarian will complete a detailed physical examination of your pet. As soon as our veterinarian enters the examination room and before your pet has even been touched, the visual examination has begun. The vet can learn a great deal about the health of your pet by simply looking at the animal. Some simple visual signs of a problem could be poor coat, runny eyes and shaking.


The condition of your pet’s coat is a reflection of its general well being. A poor quality coat can be an indication of malnutrition, parasites or other internal disorders. In order to rule out any parasites a stool sample should be examined. A dull, sparse flaky coat could be a sign something is wrong.


Your dog’s weight as with humans places extra stress on such organs as the heart and skeletal with the result being a shortened life.

Wet Nose?

Many owners think that if their pet’s nose is wet this is a sign of a healthy animal. The cold wet nose could be normal but it can also be a sign of a respiratory problem. A mucous discharge may be present but this will be one symptom among several.

Another reason for a wet nose is sweat, because this is where your pet has sweat glands. Dogs also have sweat glands on their paw pads.


Any lumps and bumps on your pet’s body should be examined during the physical exam. It is common for dogs and cats to develop tumours and cysts, as they grow older which are not necessarily cancerous. Your vet will recommend whether further action is required.


Your dog’s teeth need to be examined to detect gingivitis and tartar. These “Periodontal Diseases” can cause bad breath and lead to infections down the road. Infected gums (gingivitis) will develop into periodontal disease which is painful and decreases the quality of life. Your veterinary technician can show you how to clean your dog’s teeth at home. It’s a good idea to have the technician perform the first cleaning to get you started off.

Senior Pets

The yearly examination only makes good sense. It gives you and your vet time to catch small problems before they become big ones. It gives a baseline and history, which will be useful down the road when your pet enters the “Golden Years”. It is also an excellent opportunity to ask any questions you may have about nutrition, Lyme disease, Heartworm or any other concerns you may have.