Routine & Clinical Examinations

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What is a Clinical examination?

A clinical examination is a routine medical examination of a dog who appears healthy, as opposed to an examination of a dog who is ill. A clinical examination may also be called a 'check-up' or a 'physical examination'. The focus of a clinical examination is the maintenance of optimal health.

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How often should my dog have a clinical examination?

The answer to this question depends on your dog’s age and current health status. During early puppyhood wellness exams are recommended on a monthly basis, while for the average adult dog annual clinical examinations are the norm, and for middle aged, senior, and geriatric dogs, semi-annual examinations are recommended.

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What will we check during a clinical examination?

During a routine wellness examination, your veterinarian will ask you questions about your dog's diet, exercise, thirst, breathing, behaviour, habits, elimination patterns (i.e., bowel movements and urination), lifestyle, and general health. Your veterinarian will also perform a physical examination of your dog. Based on your pet's history and physical examination, your veterinarian will then make recommendations for specific preventive medicine treatments such as vaccination, parasite control (including preventive treatments for fleas, ticks, intestinal parasites, and heartworm), nutrition, skin and coat care, joint health, weight management, or dental care. In addition, your veterinarian will discuss your dog's individual circumstances and decide whether any other life-stage or lifestyle recommendations would be appropriate.