As medical professionals we understand that in order to provide your pet with a long and happy life while also reducing the overall cost of care for your pet, our focus has to be on preventative care. This is why we recommend annual wellness exams for your pet that include thorough screenings for a number of common diseases and ailments that could affect your companion animal’s health. As your pet enters his or her senior years these screenings become even more important, which is why we have developed a specialized Senior Wellness protocol.
We also recommend regular vaccinations to protect your friend from a range of preventable and dangerous diseases. Routine dental care is part of the plan as well because good oral health goes a long way toward protecting overall systemic health. We also know that since some of the pets we see will at one point become lost, it is important to give your dog or cat an implantable microchip ID.
Perhaps the most important piece of your pet’s care is strong client/doctor communication. It is important that we hear from you how your pet is doing and any concerns you may have. It is also our responsibility and duty to empower you with the information necessary to provide the best and most compassionate home-based care for your pet.
Unfortunately, despite even the best preventative medicine, our pets may experience an illness or injury. The skill, experience and extensive education of the doctors at Raytown-Gregory Animal Health Center allow us to effectively manage complex medical and surgical challenges beyond those typically handled in general veterinary practices.
Our level of expertise, capabilities and resources also reduces the frequency of referrals to specialists and allows our clients to receive care for their pets from people they know, in a comfortable and familiar setting. There are times, though, when the care of a specialist is necessary. We maintain close, collaborative relationships with area specialists to ensure your pet receives prompt and appropriate care.
In all, we strive to provide the highest level of service to you and care to your pet in a warm, safe and inviting atmosphere. Please take a look at the services we offer and why we believe they are important for the care of your pet. Then feel free to give us a call at (816) 353-6681 to make an appointment.
A regular physical examination is just as important for your pet as it is for you. Because our pets cannot tell us how they really feel, we recommend a complete nose-to-tail physical examination at least once a year, though more frequent exams are encouraged.
A routine examination provides you and your veterinarian with the opportunity to develop a picture of your pet’s overall health as well as to spot potential medical issues before they become serious health concerns. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask your veterinarian important questions about your pet’s health, habits and daily care. We also use this time to inform you about home healthcare for your pet and offer important advice and new information on the care of your particular type and breed of animal.
During your pet’s wellness checkup, Raytown-Gregory Animal Health Center doctors will:
Listen to your pet’s heart – Early signs of cardiac disease such as heart murmurs and abnormal heart beat patterns known as arrhythmias can be heard through a stethoscope. Discovering these initial indicators of an underlying condition will lead to treatment before it becomes a more serious health threat.
Listen to your pet’s lungs – Health issues such as infections, obstructive diseases and other problems can be detected by listening to your pet’s lungs through a stethoscope. The doctor can also assess the overall pulmonary health of your pet.
Check your pet’s teeth and oral cavity – Examining your pet’s teeth and mouth is an important part of preventing dental disease. Infections and other forms of dental disease can lead to very serious systemic health issues. We also take the time to discuss proper home dental care with you.
Evaluate your pet’s vision – Ocular conditions—such as glaucoma, corneal ulcers and dry eye—can be prevented or better treated through regular care and screenings.
Look into your pet’s ears – As with dental disease, ear disease is relatively common in many types of pets. Regular examinations can prevent most forms of ear disease from developing or stop its progression before it causes a serious health concern.
Palpate the lymph nodes, abdomen and skin – By feeling these areas, we are looking for unusual lumps or swellings as well as evaluating the skin for discolorations, lesions or patterns of hair loss or thinning. These can indicate the presence of more systemic problems, especially metabolic diseases.
Palpate joints and muscles – By examining the joints, legs and other areas of the body, we are able to evaluate for swollen joints, decreased muscle tone and variations in muscle size between the limbs that may indicate developing orthopedic issues. In older pets, we look for signs of arthritis, which can be treated if found early.
Lab work – A complete physical includes a heartworm test and should include a full blood workup. Not only can a full chemistry panel and complete blood count identify the presence of underlying disease processes, but these tests help create a baseline should your pet become ill between routine examinations. Blood work is also highly recommended prior to procedures that require anesthesia.
Parasite Testing – Checking your pet for intestinal parasites is an important component of any preventative care plan. Not only is this a healthy choice for your pet, but for your family as well. For example, parasites such as hookworms are considered zoonotic, which means they can affect humans too.