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Annual Exams vs. Semi-Annual Exams

Posted 10.25.17 by Audrey Parker

Did you know that if your pet is over 7 years of age, they are considered a “senior citizen?”  Since our pets age much faster than we do, it is important to perform twice a year exams once they reach this milestone.   Clients often ask what the difference is between a traditional annual exam and a senior exam, also called a semi-annual exam.

Your pet’s annual exam is just what it sounds like; a once per year exam where your pet receives a comprehensive physical exam, heartworm test or full blood work, a fecal parasite exam,  and any vaccines that are due.  This exam is also the best time to pick up heartworm and flea and tick prevention for the year for your pet.  It is very important to keep your pet up to date on vaccines as well as get yearly heartworm and intestinal parasite checks to make sure our preventions are still working effectively.

A senior exam may also be called a semi-annual or 6 month exam.  This exam is traditionally done for “seniors,” but can be performed on any pet as a semi-annual exam.  It should be done 6 months after the traditional annual exam.  This exam includes a comprehensive physical exam and comprehensive blood work as well as a urinalysis (urine testing).  Your pet can also have chest and abdominal x-rays taken at a discounted rate during their senior exam.  This exam is very important as it may catch disease early in your aging pet and the earlier we catch something, the better our chances of successful treatment or management.

Dr. Raelyn Pirtle

The Pet Hospitals– Poplar at Massey

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