Annual Pet Wellness Examinations are critical in your Vail Valley and Eagle Pets!

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Annual Pet Wellness Examinations are critical in your Vail Valley and Eagle Pets!

As a Veterinary Practitioner for over 28 years, I frequently have seen so many pet owners refer to their pet’s annual wellness visit as a “time for shots.” Pet owners have it in their minds that “shots” is their sole reason for the annual visit to the Veterinarian and it has become my goal in our practice to educate both my staff and my owner’s on what I call the “PAW” approach to annual pet wellness exams so they understand and appreciate the overall importance of the annual wellness examination.

“PAW” in my practice begins with “P” referring to the “Preventative care” that the pet is in for that day.Preventative care in our hospital includes first of all, a very full physical examination. I prefer to discuss each area I am examining with the owner as I document my findings. By reciting my findings, I feel I engage my owners better and they more fully understand the importance of the examination and the findings. Also included in my Preventative care come the necessary vaccinations, a fecal antigen test, a heatworm/tick test, in addition to routine blood screening. As we have begun testing more and more pets with the fecal antigen test, we have found so many more parasites that previously went undetected. As we have begun more complete heartworm and tick testing, we have discovered just how many pets in our region truly have tick exposure and potential tick disease. Blood screening has also proven to be very beneficial in exposing disease processes that would otherwise have gone undetected in both the young and the aging pets. So already, our owner’s are recognizing, it’s just not “all about shots.”

The “A” in “Paw” stands for the Action items. Now that we have performed our Physical examinations, Fecal testing, Heartworm testing, and routine blood screening, we will often find areas which we need to address immediately and I would refer to these as my “Action” items. For example, a pet may have parasites which need to be addressed, an ear infection, dental disease, a lump that could potentially represent neoplasia, early renal failure, etc. By performing the complete preventative care recommendations, we able to make a good list of Action items and ACT on them accordingly, allowing our patient’s to live longer, healthier and more comfortable lives. Once again, we are showing our owners that the annual wellness examination is valuable in the overall wellbeing of their pet and is again “not all about shots.”

Finally, the “W” in “Paw” stands for “Working together,” and by that we mean that the owner, together with their Veterinarian are able to develop a solid plan for nutrition, preventative care, action items, and treatments allowing for that pet to have the best care possible .

We hope as veterinarians to continue to educate our pet owner’s on the value of this annual wellness visit with hope to increase the volume of pets getting the care they need!


We look forward to seeing you!