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Old Derby Animal Hospital

Wellness & Preventive Care

Annual wellness exams evaluate your pets overall health, detect problems before they get serious, and keep them on track to live a long, healthy life.

Wellness Exams for Dogs and Cats in Hingham, MA

You want to do all the right things for your pet so they can enjoy the best quality of life. At Old Derby Animal Hospital in Hingham, MA, we go beyond the standard to deliver treatment tailored to your pet’s needs.

Pet wellness care doesn’t stop at the first exam—it’s an ongoing commitment to keeping your best friend healthy for as long as possible with the help of yearly wellness exams for dogs and cats, vaccinations, disease and parasite screens, and teeth cleaning.


The American Animal Hospital Association recommends that your pet have a wellness exam at least once every year. As your pet ages, they recommend having even more. We believe strongly in preventive care and have developed wellness protocols for every stage of the life of your pet. Depending on your pet’s life stage, vaccines may be administered, as well as disease screenings.

Why are wellness exams important?

Wellness exams give us a chance to evaluate the overall health of your pet while also giving us a baseline for their own unique bodies and tendencies. They also allow us to detect potential problems before they become serious, and even make your pet more familiar with our veterinary hospital, making future visits easier on them and you.

When should my pet visit the vet?

We believe in preventative medicine as the best approach to keeping our patients healthy. This includes annual wellness examinations, vaccinations on a one- or three-year basis, external and internal parasite prevention, and dietary management. Our doctors will help determine what vaccinations are appropriate according to you and your pet’s needs. We will discuss in detail what your options are to help you make the best possible health decisions for your pet.

How do wellness exams work?

During a wellness exam, our veterinary team will start out by taking your pet's vital signs. Our veterinarian will perform a comprehensive examination of your pet from nose to tail and may also perform diagnostic tests such as blood work, urinalysis, or intestinal parasite tests. Depending on your pet’s life stage, vaccines may be administered, as well as disease screenings for heartworm, kidney, liver, blood disorders, and more.

Wellness examinations do not necessarily mean that your pet is going to be subjected to complicated or costly medical tests and treatments. This allows us to prevent major health issue from developing undetected and gives us the opportunity to analyze and record baseline values such as temperature, body condition, and lab work. We measure these when your pet is healthy in order to provide better care in the event of illness or emergency. A dental health exam and a weight check are always important parts of a wellness exam, and may indicate problems that can progress rapidly and have significant impact on your pet's overall health.

Early detection and correction of medical problems will help to ensure that your pet will love a long, healthy, and active life.

How Regular Checkups Reduce the Risk of Disease

Dogs and cats don’t stay young for long, as much as we might wish it. Their accelerated aging makes it easier for health changes to fly under the radar until they have become more serious, and harder to treat. Our animal hospital recommends yearly checkups in order to keep up with these changes and, ideally, prevent the onset of disease.

During a typical wellness visit, we:

  • Perform a thorough, nose-to-tail exam of your pet which includes checking their vitals

  • Discuss their daily life—from what they eat, to how much, to how regularly they exercise and do their business

  • Answer any and all questions you have; we’re here to help and educate you about every aspect of your pet’s health

  • Recommend the appropriate core and lifestyle-based vaccines

  • Check a blood and (fresh) fecal sample from your pet for parasites and signs of disease

We now offer Wellness Plans to help make staying on top of your pet's veterinary care easier!

Learn More >

Why Pets Need Year-Round Parasite Protection

Parasites, especially ticks, are a major problem in our area. Furthermore, the risks of an infestation don’t disappear at the first frost. For the most complete protection, every dog and cat should be given their parasite preventatives on a routine basis for all 12 months of the year.

The problem is that fleas, ticks, and heartworms don’t just infest—they can also damage your pet’s health. Ticks may carry bacteria that cause Lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis. Mosquitoes can transmit heartworm disease, a potentially fatal condition in which heartworms living inside your pet block blood flow to and from the heart. While treatment for heartworm exists for dogs, there is no existing treatment for cats, and the treatment currently available for dogs is extremely costly.