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What’s the difference between a medical and a wellness appointment anyway, and why does it matter?

As a veterinarian, I often get asked about the difference between a medical appointment and a wellness appointment. While they may sound similar, there are some key differences between the two, and it’s important to understand both in order to keep your furry friend healthy and happy!

A medical appointment Is typically scheduled when your pet is experiencing a health issue, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or a skin rash. During a medical appointment, the veterinarian will examine your pet, ask you questions about their symptoms, and may perform diagnostic tests such as blood work or x-rays in order to diagnose and treat the issue.


On the other hand, a wellness appointment is scheduled when your pet is not experiencing any specific health issues, but you want to make sure they are staying healthy and receiving all the necessary preventative care. During a wellness appointment, the veterinarian will examine your pet from nose to tail, perform any necessary vaccinations or parasite prevention, and discuss any potential health risks or concerns.

Now, here’s the important part: It’s crucial to schedule these appointments as separate visits. Why, you ask? Well, think of it this way: If you go to the doctor for a physical, and then also ask them to look at your broken arm, while they are eating a sandwich, it’s going to take a lot longer to get everything done, and it’s going to be a whole lot messier! The same goes for your pet’s medical and wellness needs. If you try to combine them into one appointment, you may end up spending a lot of time in the waiting room and not get all the necessary care for your pet!


Additionally, separating the appointments allows the veterinarian to focus on each aspect separately, which can lead to better care for your pet in the long run. During a medical appointment, the veterinarian can focus solely on treating the health issue at hand, without the distraction of preventative care. Similarly, during a wellness appointment, the veterinarian can focus on providing preventative care and catching any potential health issues before they become more serious.

So, pet owners, let's work together to keep our furry friends healthy and happy! Schedule those separate appointments, and don't forget to ask your veterinarian for advice on how to keep your pet feeling their best. By doing so, you’ll be ensuring that your pet receives the best possible care and stays healthy for years to come. And remember, we're here to help - even if it means putting down our sandwich for a moment! Oh and, Happy Mother’s day!!

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