Pet Physical Exams

At Downey Veterinary Hospital, we highly recommend all our patients be seen for a physical exam at least once a year. As our patients start to get older, the recommendation is set to at least twice a year. Through preventative care/wellness care, we can establish health baselines and catch signs of illness early.

white cat at vet

What is a Physical Exam?

A physical exam is an observation of the general appearance of a patient, auscultation of the chest cavity, and palpation of specific areas of the body.

General Appearance: Mentation, body condition, muscle condition, coat, skin, eyes, ears, face, nose, mouth, teeth, gait. The general appearance can give the veterinarian much information on the patient’s well-being.

Auscultation: Heart, lungs, GI mobility with the use of a stethoscope, the veterinarian can listen to (auscultate) the heart, lungs, and even the patient’s GI mobility. This will allow the veterinarian to check for abnormalities in the heart rate, heart rhythm, breathing, and even abnormal gut sounds.

Palpation: Lymph nodes, limbs, abdomen, the pulse being able to feel (palpate) the patient on specific parts of their body allows the veterinarian to check for any abnormalities such as tumors, enlargements, evaluate pain and discomfort levels, poor pulses, and heart problems.