Wellness Exams for Small Companion Animals

At Williams Veterinary Wellness, We’re dedicated to providing the services needed to strengthen your bond with your pet. Wellness exams for dogs and cats are an essential part of that. Annual or semiannual visits with your veterinarian help us keep up with the changing needs of your pet, so we can maintain their best quality of life year after year.

Annual exams give your pet the best chance at a long and happy life.

age cat_laying_on_floorCommon Concerns in Our Area

A wellness exam is also a great time to talk about the most common health problems in our area: allergies, foxtails, Leptospirosis, and rattlesnakes.

  • Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that spreads through the bloodstream. Dogs can get leptospirosis from puddles or bodies of water that carry urine from infected wildlife. This disease can cause kidney failure, liver failure, bleeding disorders, and other life threatening issues. Fortunately, there is a vaccine against multiple strains of the disease, and we recommend is in our core vaccination protocol. For more information on leptospirosis, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association.

  • Foxtails are a type of grass seed that has needle-like barbs designed to adhere themselves to passing animals, clothing, and other unsuspecting subjects. They can be harmful and even dangerous to our pets if unnoticed or left untreated. Foxtails can lodge themselves in skin, between toes, in the ear, eye, and nose, and can cause signs such as redness, pain, swelling, and abscesses. Prevention is the best policy – keep your yard clear and free of grasses that produce foxtail-like seeds. Stick to well-groomed trails when hiking, and always do a thorough check of your pet once a day to catch any foxtails before they migrate somewhere dangerous.

  • Fleas & Ticks are the most common external parasite to plague companion animals. Despite our dry environment, fleas and ticks are prevalent in the area year-round. Ticks carry diseases like Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Anaplasmosis, which are some of the most prevalent tick-born diseases in and around Northern Arizona. Even if you don’t see ticks on your pets, all it takes is one bite to transmit these life-threatening diseases. We recommend giving your pets a parasite preventative medication year-round. You can find more information on the prevalence of parasites in your area here.

  • Heartworm is a potentially fatal disease in cats and dogs (and other mammalian wildlife) caused by worms that migrate through a mosquito bite. Microfilaria (baby worms) in the blood meal enter the body through the mosquito bite wound and slowly make their way to the blood stream. Sexually mature heartworms can grow up to one foot long, which occurs over the course of 6 months, and they live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of infected animals. We recommend annual heartworm testing and year-round administration of heartworm preventative medication. Find heartworm information in your local area and education resources here.

  • Allergies can be caused by pollens, molds, dust, certain materials, and more. They cause incessant scratching that can make your pet miserable. Bring them to us for itch relief!

Call us at (928) 635-5392 to schedule your next dog or cat wellness exam today!

What’s in a Wellness Exam for Dogs & Cats?

Pet wellness exams are the best way for us to assess their health and catch any underlying diseases before they have time to develop (and become more difficult to treat). At each exam, the doctor performs:

  • A thorough physical exam checking their eyes, ears, nose, mouth, joints, skin and coat, and their heart and lungs

  • Weight check and body condition score

  • Discussion of nutrition, especially if they are over or underweight

  • Age-appropriate bloodwork for baseline tests and to check for abnormalities

  • Vaccinations, if due

  • Parasite prevention discussion and refill of prescriptions

  • Training tips and discussion of behavioral issues

*Be sure to bring in a fresh stool sample to your visit, no more than 2 hours old.


It can be easy to put off going to the vet because your pet seems completely healthy and normal. However, pets can’t tell us how they’re feeling, and while they may seem perfectly healthy on the outside, there could be an underlying illness brewing. Here are some reasons why pet wellness care is so important for your pet:

Dogs and cats are experts at hiding illness.

Hiding any sign of vulnerability is a natural instinct, and in the wild, it would have kept them from being a bigger predator’s next meal. When signs of illness finally do develop, it means the disease progression is much farther along and will be significantly more difficult (and costly) to treat.

Healthy pets are better companions.

The human-animal bond is a beautiful thing, but when your pet isn’t their best self, your relationship with them suffers. They likely won’t be as willing to play, take long walks, or even cuddle with you on the couch because of pain, discomfort, or simply not feeling well.

Illness can have lasting consequences.

While we may be able to manage or treat an illness that progressed too far, your pet may not fully recover. Lingering effects such as tooth loss from dental disease, chronic gastrointestinal problems from parvovirus; or heart problems from feline hyperthyroidism can all shorten your pet’s quality and quantity of life significantly.

Pets become more vulnerable with age.

Senior cats and dogs can develop conditions much more rapidly. Routine vet visits, ideally every 6 months, are essential for our older patients as it gives us the best chance at early detection (and treatment!) for any developing conditions. Prevention and early detection are the two most important parts of pet wellness care, but it is only effective if you bring your pet in!

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