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Wellness is defined by Oxford Language as “ the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal”. Wellness is the core of what we do at Altitude Veterinary Hospital. We want to help you actively pursue a state of good health for your pets. This results in longer fuller lives for our pets, thereby strengthening the human animal bond.
There are many facets to the pursuit of wellness. The wellness exam is an essential component. The wellness exam is also know as the yearly physical. This is a systematic evaluation of body systems with a hands on examination. We often approach the exam in a nose to tail fashion, starting with the oral cavity, then the eyes, ears, external lymph nodes, auscultation of the heart and lungs, palpating the abdomen, feeling for lumps and bumps in the skin, and palpating the musculoskeletal structures while assessing neurological function.
There are many diseases we can identify with a thorough exam that are not immediately evident to the pet owner, including dental disease, heart murmurs or arrhythmias, ear infections, tumors of the spleen, and arthritis. Early symptoms of most of these illnesses, such as a decrease in activity, mimic what we associate with older age.
While a wellness exam ( yearly physical) is essential to maintaining optimal health, it is also required by law before we can treat veterinary patients. The Veterinary Practice act states that a “veterinary-client-patient relationship” (VCPR) must be in place before a veterinarian can diagnose, treat, prescribe, perform surgery, or administer a vaccine to a patient. The definition of VCPR is having performed a wellness examination on the patient to verify the veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the patient to make medical diagnoses or administer medications or biologic agents( vaccines).
At Altitude, wellness is the core of what we do. Wellness exams, proper diet, vaccinations, laboratory screening and parasite prevention are necessary in actively pursuing the state of good health for our furry family members. Schedule your pets wellness exam with one of our veterinarians soon!