The Importance of Wellness Exams

By September 19, 2017

At Fox Creek Veterinary Hospital, we pledge to care for your horses “in sickness and in health.” While we always give our best attention to your horse’s needs during times of illness or injury, we believe in continuing that same standard of care even during otherwise “routine” visits (vaccinations, dentistry, etc.).

During a wellness examination, we assess the following parameters:

  • General appearance and attitude
  • Vital signs (temperature, pulse, and respiration)
  • Thoracic auscultation (listening to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope)
  • Weight estimate (using weight tape for consistency)
  • Body condition score
  • Hair coat and skin condition
  • Brief oral examination (appearance of teeth and gums)
  • Brief assessment of hooves and legs
  • Brief assessment of horse in motion if there are gait or neurologic concerns

Taken together, these checkpoints can provide a fairly accurate picture of your horse’s overall health. If there is anything unusual on examination, we can compare it to notes from previous visits to see whether this is a constant, or something new for your horse that warrants further investigation. If something concerning is noted, we can recommend further testing or treatment, hopefully catching minor problems before they become more serious issues.

We recommend having general wellness examinations performed twice yearly, which can coincide with your usual preventative care appointments. Additionally, biannual wellness exams are included in Fox Creek’s Equine Wellness Programs.