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What Happens if My Pet’s Routine Exam Shows a Problem?

When your pet’s health is at stake, it can cause a whirlwind of panic and worry, making you ask questions such as, “What happens if my pet’s routine exam shows a problem?” If a routine examination reveals a concerning issue, it doesn’t immediately mean your pet is in grave danger. Instead, it highlights the need for further investigation, preventive measures, or treatment.

What Is a Pet Routine Exam?

A pet routine exam, also known as a wellness exam or dog and cat check up, is a preventive healthcare visit to the veterinarian for your pet. Just like humans need regular check-ups with their doctors, pets also benefit from routine exams to ensure they are in good health and to catch any potential health issues early on.

During a pet routine exam, the veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical examination of your pet. They will check various aspects of your pet’s health, including:

  • Vital signs: The vet will measure your pet’s temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate.
  • Eyes, ears, nose, and throat: The vet will examine these areas for any signs of infection or abnormalities.
  • Teeth and oral health: The vet will assess your pet’s dental health and may recommend dental cleaning or other treatments.
  • Coat and skin: The vet will inspect your pet’s fur and skin for signs of parasites, rashes, or other skin conditions.
  • Musculoskeletal system: The vet will evaluate your pet’s mobility, joints, and muscles.
  • Abdomen: The vet will palpate your pet’s abdomen to check for unusual masses or organ enlargement.
  • Lungs and heart: Using a stethoscope to check for irregularities, the vet will listen to your pet’s heart and lungs.
  • Weight and body condition: The vet will assess your pet’s weight and body condition to ensure they are at a healthy size.

Additionally, the vet may ask questions about your pet’s behavior, diet, exercise routine, and overall well-being to understand their lifestyle better.

When Your Pet Has Problems In Routine Exams

If your pet’s routine exam shows a problem, the next steps will depend on the specific issue detected. The veterinarian will discuss the findings with you and develop a plan for further evaluation and treatment. Here’s what may happen:

1. Further Diagnostic Tests

  • The veterinarian will recommend specific diagnostic tests based on the findings during the exam.
  • Blood work may be conducted to assess organ function and detect abnormalities.
  • Urinalysis can provide insights into kidney function and potential urinary tract issues.
  • Fecal examinations may be done to check for intestinal parasites.
  • X-rays or ultrasounds may be used to visualize internal structures and identify potential abnormalities.

2. Treatment Plan

  • The veterinarian will create a detailed treatment plan tailored to your pet’s condition and needs.
  • The plan may include a combination of medications, surgeries, therapies, or lifestyle adjustments.
  • The goal is to address the root cause of the problem and alleviate any discomfort or pain your pet may be experiencing.
  • If the routine examination reveals a terminal illness, options like Dog Hospice in Tumwater, WA, should be considered. This end-of-life care aims to provide comfort, manage pain and ensure the quality of life for pets in their final stage. This compassionate care can be extremely comforting for both pets and their owners, as it helps manage the pet’s pain and the owner’s grief.

3. Medications

  • The veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications if the dog and cat check-up exam reveals an infection or inflammation.
  • Long-term medications may be prescribed for chronic conditions to manage symptoms and improve your pet’s quality of life.

4. Specialist Referral

  • In complex cases or if specialized care is required, the veterinarian may refer your pet to a veterinary specialist.
  • Specialists have advanced training and expertise in specific areas of veterinary medicine, offering specialized diagnostics and treatments.

5. Lifestyle Recommendations

  • The veterinarian may guide dietary changes, exercise routines, and weight management to support your pet’s health.
  • Environmental modifications may be suggested to accommodate your pet’s needs or improve their comfort.

6. Follow-Up Visits

  • The veterinarian will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your pet’s progress and response to treatment.
  • If necessary, follow-up visits allow adjustments to the treatment plan and ensure your pet’s health is consistently evaluated.

7. Preventive Measures

  • The veterinarian will stress the importance of preventive measures to safeguard your pet’s health.
  • This includes discussing dog vaccinations schedules, regular parasite prevention, and dental care.

8. Client Education

  • The veterinarian will take the time to educate you about your pet’s condition, treatment options, and at-home care.
  • They will provide clear instructions for administering medications or treatments.

9. Emotional Support

  • Facing a health issue in your pet can be emotionally challenging, and the veterinarian and staff will provide support and empathy.
  • They will answer your questions and address your concerns, helping you navigate this difficult time.

10. Health Monitoring

  • The veterinarian will closely monitor your pet’s health throughout treatment to assess their progress and identify potential complications.
  • Collaborating closely with your veterinarian and being proactive in your pet’s healthcare can significantly impact their well-being.


Routine exams are crucial for your pet’s well-being. These check-ups can reveal problems that might have gone unnoticed, allowing for early interventions or lifestyle changes to improve your pet’s health. Trust your vet’s expertise should an issue arise in your pet’s check-up. Remember, pets are resilient; with your vet’s guidance and loving care, they can overcome many health challenges. So, instead of worrying about what could go wrong next time, focus on everything that can go right with those routine check-ups. Ultimately, it’s about doing the best for your pet and ensuring they live a healthy, fulfilling life.