Your pet is your best friend and constant companion, and you will do anything to ensure they stay by your side for as long as possible. Routine wellness screenings at Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Groves can help you achieve this goal. Annual veterinary care is not only an obligation, but also an opportunity to assess your pet’s health and wellbeing, and receive expert pet care guidance that can add years to their life.

Routine wellness screening benefits for pets

Your pet’s annual or bi-annual visit to Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Groves provides them with the highest veterinary care southeast Texas has to offer—but the benefits last far longer than your pet’s appointment time.

Wellness visits provide pets with lifelong health advantages, including:

  • Preventive care — Vaccinations help your pet build and maintain a strong defense against infectious diseases.
  • Early disease detection — Annual exams and blood work help your pet’s veterinarian identify hidden health problems long before visible signs appear, improving your pet’s outcome and minimizing treatment time and cost.
  • Nutritional guidance and weight management — Pet food can be confusing. We help determine your pet’s nutritional needs and make individually tailored feeding recommendations to ensure they achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Parasite detection and prevention — Internal and external parasites are more than gross—they can spread harmful diseases, cause anemia and malnutrition, and wreck your pet’s health. We will devise a prevention plan to protect your pet from all parasites.
  • Customized care recommendations — Your pet’s needs change with each passing year, and your veterinarian will provide updated recommendations based on your pet’s health, age, breed, and lifestyle.

What’s included in your pet’s annual wellness screening

At your pet’s annual wellness appointment, you’ll likely hear about a battery of recommended tests and services that may feel overwhelming or excessive, but each suggestion serves a specific, intentional purpose, with improving and maintaining your pet’s health the ultimate goal.

The most important features of your pet’s wellness visit at Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Groves include. 

  • Comprehensive physical examination — The physical exam is the cornerstone of veterinary care. This hands-on, nose-to-tail assessment identifies poor health, illness, injury, pain, and disease in your pet’s major body systems, including:
    • Teeth and gums
    • Eyes
    • Ears
    • Skin and coat
    • Heart and lungs
    • Nervous system 
    • Abdomen
    • Joints and mobility
    • Urogenital

Changes in any of these areas may indicate the need for further evaluation, including diagnostic testing, imaging (i.e., X-rays, computed tomography), dental cleaning under anesthesia, or a medication trial. 

Despite state-of-the-art technology, the physical examination is still the most effective and finely tuned diagnostic tool available to veterinarians.

  • Intestinal parasite screening — The intestinal parasite screening (i.e., fecal test) looks for parasitic worms, microorganisms, and eggs that are shed in an infected pet’s stool and can impact your pet’s overall health. Because they are small, puppies and kittens are especially vulnerable to severe infections that can lead to anemia, malnutrition, and altered development. Intestinal parasite screening protects your pet and your human family, as several parasites (i.e., roundworms, hookworms, and Giardia) can be transmitted to people.
  • Heartworm disease screening test — Heartworm disease affects more than one million U.S. pets—including more than 43,000 dogs in Texas in 2021—and is one of the most commonly diagnosed, but preventable, diseases in dogs and cats. This life-threatening condition is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and causes devastating heart and lung complications. Heartworm testing ensures your pet’s prevention plan is effective and identifies hidden infections in unprotected pets.
  • Tick-borne illness testing — Ticks carry debilitating diseases, including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Annual blood testing for dogs can identify exposure and infection, and allow your veterinarian to change your pet’s tick prevention protocol or begin antibiotic treatment to prevent chronic infection and complications.
  • Blood work  — While many pet owners recognize that their pet needs blood work when they are sick or undergoing anesthesia, they may not realize the advantages for apparently healthy pets. Annual blood work (i.e., a complete blood count and a general chemistry profile) is invaluable for detecting hidden disease, often months or years before clinical signs appear, monitoring therapeutic treatments, and assessing organ function in aging and debilitated pets. Yearly results also create a personalized reference library of your pet’s baseline values should your pet’s health take an unexpected turn. By tracking trends and identifying patterns, your pet’s veterinary team can stay ahead of potential threats and provide precise and fully customized care.

At Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Groves, we recommend annual blood work for all adult and senior pets.

  • Urinalysis (UA) — The urinalysis is an additional wellness test that our veterinarians generally recommend for senior pets (i.e., older than 7 years of age) and pets with a history of urinary health issues. The urinalysis provides detailed health insights and diagnoses, including:
    • Kidney function and filtration
    • Bacterial infection
    • Bladder inflammation (i.e., cystitis)
    • Prostate problems
    • Cancer
    • Urine crystals (i.e., a predecessor to bladder or kidney stones)
    • Metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes)

An annual veterinary wellness screening is sometimes summarized as an “exam and vaccines,” but at Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Groves, your pet’s annual wellness visit is a comprehensive look at their overall wellbeing, an in-depth internal health assessment, and proactive prevention against life-threatening infections and disease. Are you ready to protect your pet with the best quality veterinary care in southeast Texas? Schedule your pet’s annual wellness appointment at Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Groves.