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Common sections of your pet's health exam include:
HISTORY: Questions about your pet and his or her health history are asked and included in the medical record along with temperature, pulse, respiration rate and body weight. Any changes in these may be significant.
HEART AND LUNGS: Your veterinarian will use a stethoscope to listen to your pet's heart and lungs. Early heart disease is often recognized during an annual health exam.
SKIN AND COAT: The skin is the body's largest organ and is a good indicator of overall health status. Your veterinarian will examine the coat and skin's condition to detect other health problems. Your pet will also be checked for fleas, ticks, other external parasites, tumors, and wounds.
PALPATION: Your veterinarian will use hands and fingers to feel the abdomen to assess the condition of internal organs, and to look for any irregularities. The condition of the joints, muscles and lymph nodes will also be noted.
EYES: Many conditions, such as anemia, infections, and jaundice, often are discovered through eye examinations. Examinations of the inner structures of the eyes can detect signs of glaucoma or eye ulcers.
EARS: Pets who shake their heads, scratch their ears, or seem smelly can be showing signs of an ear infection. Your veterinarian will make a visual check of your pet's ear canals to look for inflammation or other signs of problems.
NOSE: Your pet's nose is examined for abnormal discharge as well as changes in color, texture, moisture, or shape.