What Do Vets Look For in Wellness Exams?

Every pet parent wants their furry companion to lead a long, healthy life. Wellness exams are a vital part of achieving this goal. During these routine check-ups, veterinarians meticulously assess your pet’s overall health status and provide recommendations to maintain or improve their well-being. 

In this article, we will delve into what exactly vets look for in wellness exams, why they’re important, and some specific aspects, such as pet dentistry and vaccinations. So, let’s explore the comprehensive world of pet wellness together.

What Vets Check in Wellness Exams

1. Physical Examination

When your pet visits the vet for a wellness exam, the physical inspection is the first and most fundamental component. A veterinarian’s trained eye can catch subtle signs of illness or discomfort. Here’s what they typically check:

  • Body Condition: Assessing your pet’s weight and overall body shape is essential. An ideal body condition means that your pet is neither underweight nor overweight.

  • Coat and Skin: Healthy skin and fur can indicate good nutrition and care, whereas issues like dry skin, excessive oiliness, or bald patches might suggest underlying health problems.

  • Eyes and Vision: Bright, clear eyes without discharge or redness are a sign of good health, while cloudiness or irritation could point to issues.

  • Ears: Vets check for cleanliness, odor, and inflammation, which could be indicative of ear infections.

  • Mouth: Good oral health is critical, and vets inspect teeth and gums for any signs of disease.

Wellness exams are more than just routine check-ups; they are crucial to ensuring your pet lives a healthy and happy life. Scheduling a routine cat checkup in Bellevue area can help catch and prevent potential health issues before they become serious.

2. List of Internal Health Checks

Beyond the exterior check-up, your vet will also investigate internal health indicators:

  • Heart and Lungs: The vet listens to your pet’s heart and lungs for any abnormalities, such as heart murmurs or irregular breathing.

  • Abdominal Palpation: Gently feeling the abdomen can reveal issues with organs like the liver, kidneys, or intestines.

  • Musculoskeletal Examination: A check for joint health, muscle tone, and any signs of pain or discomfort during movement.

3. Navigating Pet Nutrition and Weight Management

Your vet will spend time discussing your pet’s diet and exercise habits. Proper nutrition is a key factor in maintaining a healthy weight and preventing diseases. Vets can provide personalized advice on what types of food, how much, and how often your pet should eat based on their specific needs.

4. Behavior Analysis

Behavior changes can signal health issues. Vets inquire about your pet’s behavior at home, such as changes in activity levels, sleep patterns, or signs of anxiety. These cues can help your vet piece together a more complete picture of your pet’s health.

5. Dental Health

Dental health is a critical but often overlooked aspect of your pet’s wellness. Dental issues can lead to more severe health problems if not addressed. For example, those looking for a cat dentist in Bellevue should find a vet clinic that offers comprehensive dental care, including cleanings, extractions, and even specialized procedures.

6. Importance of Vaccinations and Preventative Medicine

Preventative medicine, such as vaccinations, plays a critical role in your pet’s health. Vaccines protect against common and sometimes deadly diseases, ensuring your pet’s immune system is prepared to fight off infections. In the Bellevue area, it’s essential to stay on top of Bellevue cat vaccinations, as they are the key to preventing disease outbreaks.

7. Parasite Prevention and Control

Parasites pose a significant threat to pets—internal parasites like worms or external ones like fleas and ticks. Vets use wellness exams to check for signs of infestation and to provide preventive treatments to protect your pet.

8. Laboratory Testing

As a crucial component of comprehensive wellness exams, laboratory testing offers valuable insights into your pet’s health. These tests go beyond the physical examination, helping to detect underlying issues that may not be immediately apparent. Here’s why laboratory testing is an essential part of your pet’s healthcare:

  • Comprehensive Health Assessment: Laboratory tests, including blood, urine, and stool analyses, provide a comprehensive assessment of your pet’s health. These tests offer a detailed look at various aspects of your pet’s physiological functions, allowing for a more thorough understanding of their overall well-being.

  • Early Detection of Issues: Laboratory testing can reveal health issues in their early stages, often before noticeable symptoms appear. This early detection is crucial for timely intervention and effective treatment, potentially preventing the progression of diseases and improving outcomes.

  • Infections: Blood tests can identify the presence of infections in your pet’s system. Detecting infections early allows for prompt treatment, preventing the spread of the infection and minimizing its impact on your pet’s health.

  • Diabetes Screening: Laboratory tests can help screen for conditions like diabetes by assessing blood glucose levels. Early identification of diabetes enables proactive management, which is essential for maintaining your pet’s health and quality of life.

  • Organ Function Assessment: Blood tests provide insights into the functioning of vital organs such as the liver and kidneys. Abnormalities in organ function can be indicative of underlying health issues, and early detection allows for targeted interventions and management.

  • Nutritional Status Evaluation: Laboratory tests can assess your pet’s nutritional status, ensuring they are receiving the necessary nutrients for optimal health. This information is particularly important for developing tailored dietary plans to address specific nutritional needs.

  • Monitoring Chronic Conditions: For pets with chronic conditions, regular laboratory testing is essential for monitoring disease progression and treatment efficacy. Adjustments to treatment plans can be made based on the results of these tests, optimizing your pet’s care.

9. Keeping Track of Records and History

Your vet will maintain a comprehensive medical history for your pet, taking note of any previous ailments or treatments. This history is invaluable for monitoring changes and diagnosing conditions early.

10. Customized Care Plans

Based on the findings from the wellness exam, your vet might design a customized care plan. This includes any necessary medication, lifestyle adjustments, and follow-up appointments tailored specifically to your pet’s needs.


Veterinary wellness exams are an all-encompassing approach to maintaining your pet’s health. An attentive vet will carefully assess your pet from nose to tail, ensuring they are both feeling and functioning their best. Remember, routine check-ups, dental care, and vaccinations are vital parts of this process, designed to prolong and enhance the quality of your pet’s life. With a committed vet and an informed owner, every pet has the best chance at a well-rounded, healthy existence.