Culpeper Animal Hospital

441 Aspen Street
Culpeper, VA 22701


Explaining Annual Visits


kitten and puppy
As your puppy gets older and moves out of the puppy stages into the adolescent and mature years, a vaccine's durability may be extended beyond every year, but your dog's yearly wellness exam should not. Just like a human, trips to the doctor not only give you sound peace of mind in regards to your pet's health, but they also help us detect if your pet needs care even if you may not realize it. Always remember, one year of human life is equivalent to 7 animal years, during which a lot can change, and for which we can help you notice, understand and address. Your animal is not just a pet, but more importantly a family member, and we pride ourselves in treating and caring for them as such.   



Most importantly, we give your pet a thorough once-over. Our Dr's examine the teeth, eyes, nose, ears, heart, lungs, bones, joints, abdomen, lymph nodes and skin to make sure everything is as it should be. Any irregularities in any of these areas will be brought up and addressed accordingly. The first step in preventative medicine is to identify the problem and that is what these routine examinations help us do. Throughout all the visits here, we record your animal's weight and these yearly examinations help us monitor your pet's growth and allow us to give you advice based on these records. If your animal's weight is not in it's ideal range, our Dr's will discuss with you the ideal weight for the breed and how you can achieve it. Feeding less is not cruel, especially if it will add years to your pet's life! By coming in yearly, we can also administer any needed or recommended vaccines, as well as inform you of updates in the ever-changing world of veterinary medicine.

cat and dog


cat and dog


There are a few things that we can do here for you on an annual basis that go beyond just the "basics". Our Dr.'s recommend a Heartworm Combo test annually, not only for the benefit of your pet, but also as a requirement for the dispensing of Heartworm preventative. Our Combo tests not only test for Heartworms, but they test for E-canis and Lyme, 2 prevalent tick-borne diseases, as well. A fecal is also recommended yearly, either with you bringing in a sample to us, or having us manually get it during your visit. Diarrhea, a distended belly and losing weight are just a few signs that your pet may have parasites, and by us doing this analysis, we can treat them to the best of our capabilities. The results only take 15 minutes to gather and it is well worth the wait, for the health of you and your pets alike. (Learn more about these parasites in another handout below.) For more senior patients, we recommend annual bloodwork and yearly urinalysis to ensure that all organs are functioning as they are intended and to ensure you that your pet will be able to live out its life comfortably and happily, whether being treated for ailments or being problem-free.

For senior pets (pets over the age of 7), we recommend that they receive exams every 6 months.  Pets begin to age faster the older they get.  It is also recommended they have bloodwork run every 6 months as well.  Getting a good base line is good to have if patients start having issues in the future.  It also is a good way to catch things early before they become an issue for your pet.  Feel free to call the clinic with any questions, or to schedule a senior wellness appointment for your older pet.