Wellness Care: The Best Defense Against Pet Disease & Illness

General Pet Wellness From The Staff at Spencer Animal Hospital

We are often asked why dogs and cats should be seen by a veterinarian if they are not sick? The answer is simple: Prevention enhances the life of your pet. The benefits of early detection and treatment are many; more treatment options are usually available, your pet experiences less suffering, prevention is usually less expensive than treatment, and the patient stands a better chance of recovery.

The goal of wellness care is to partner with the animal caregiver to monitor subtle changes in the dog or cat’s behavior and bodily functions that may indicate the onset of disease or illness. This information gives pet parents the opportunity to make educated decisions concerning their feline and canine family member’s health. It is no wonder that animals are living longer, healthier lives thanks to the advances in wellness care and veterinary diagnostics.

What to Expect at Your Pet’s Annual Preventive Exam

Pets should be seen a minimum of once per year— and more often for elderly pets or if being treated for an illness. An annual wellness exam is well worth the time and expense, especially since it may allow you to prevent more serious health problems. While we recognize that each animal companion is a unique individual, most annual evaluations will include the following assessments:

  • A thorough physical exam from nose to tail (eyes, ears, teeth, lungs, abdomen, heart, weight, joints, muscles, lumps and bumps, etc.)
  • Behavioral questions (water consumption, diet, energy, elimination, litter box, etc.), often revealing underlying veterinary issues
  • Vaccine updates
  • Internal parasite tests (please bring a fresh stool sample, not more than eight hours old)
  • Heartworm tests (for dogs)
  • Blood profile tests, which will reveal evidence of cancer, thyroid or kidney issues, infection, inflammation, etc.
  • Nutrition, weight, and diet
  • Information on the many advantages of spaying and neutering


Every year, thousands of beloved animal companions are lost or abandoned during natural disasters. Some of these animals are brought to shelters where attempts are made to reunite the dog or cat with his or her family. Sadly, many of these pets never make it home because they cannot be identified. To offset this unhappy reality, Spencer Animal Hospital recommends that all animal family members be microchipped.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, lost dogs that have been brought to shelters stand a 30% better chance of being reunited with their families if they have been microchipped. For cats, the probability of returning home increases dramatically from 2% to more than 38% for microchipped felines.

Unlike collars and ID tags, which can be removed or lost, microchipping offers pet owners a permanent method of identifying their dog or cat. The microchip is a small electronic circuit about the size of a grain of rice. It is inserted under the skin of the animal in a quick and virtually painless procedure, much like receiving a vaccination injection.

Dr. Mangum and his staff have been our pets’ choice clinic since 1971. Never has there been a more knowledgeable, caring, and friendly team with such unprecedented customer service. Forty one years of great service to us and all of our pets throughout the years!
– Barbara Groh

We have been clients of Spencer Animal Hospital for over 35 years. I know I have always been given excellent care whether it has been routine health care or for an emergency. I appreciate the kindness given to us and our animals and the honest information given when sometimes it is not what we wanted to hear.
–Sue Blansett

Dr. Mangum, Dr. Borovik and the staff of Spencer Animal Hospital have become an extension of our family by caring for our beloved pets. The doctors continue to keep abreast of changes in veterinary medicine, and have also worked with specialists in the care of our pets. We know that when we take our pet to Dr. Mangum and Dr. Borovik, be it for their yearly check-up or if they are ill, we can be confident they are receiving the best care available.
– The Gregory’s