Every animal benefits from an annual exam and even more from semi-annual exams.
I believe that I am an experienced child care provider to my children. I volunteer with the Cub Scouts, have taught classes at the elementary school, have taken numerous classes on First Aid and child welfare and youth protection training. I also have read books on “proper’ parenting and many articles in parenting journals. On top of this, I attended medical school for four years. I take my children to have regular wellness exams.
Based on the argument that people are experienced pet owners or experienced parents/guardians, we would no longer need doctors for preventative medicine. We would be taking a step back and practicing medicine of ages past. It still needs to be acknowledged that wellness exams should not give a false sense of security; no doctor can guarantee health -- this is as true on the human side as on the veterinary side. That said, however, the benefits of wellness exams have been amply demonstrated within our lifetime.
- Most people have regular wellness exams -- the average age of people has increased.
- Most dogs and cats have regular wellness exams -- the average age of cats has increased by about 3 years, dogs up to about 5 years.
- Most people have regular dental exams/cleanings -- most people retain all their teeth throughout life.
- Many avian patients now receive annual wellness exams -- life expectancy is increasing and less severe health problems are being seen.
- More pocket pets are being seen -- requiring more veterinarians to be trained in this area, but the pets are benefiting by seeing a qualified person.
- Reptiles are now starting to be seen more regularly and they too should benefit.
I will say that a veterinarian who is inexperienced with treating guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, reptiles or anything else out of the element can do harm. Just like in human medicine, the code of veterinary medicine is to “do no harm”. I would not treat a horse or a cow because these animals are outside of my realm of experience. I do care for most pocket pets because I have trained in this area and most of my practice is comprised of birds and pocket pets (60%).
While there are things that an observant and experienced pet owner can look for themselves, I still believe that all pets benefit from a wellness exam from a qualified veterinarian.
Sean Pampreen, DVM
Marlborough Bird & Animal Hospital, LLC
21 South Main Street
Marlborough, CT 06447