One Dog Owner’s Story Of Why Exams Are So Important

At PetWellClinic®, we don’t require that your pet has an exam each time you come in for a vaccination or treatment of a minor condition. However, we are big advocates of the importance of an annual exam to monitor and maintain your pet’s best health. Our vets are trained to thoroughly exam your pet for the earliest signs of disease, as well as take into account any lifestyle changes you may have noticed in your pet’s energy, demeanor, or diet. It’s not uncommon for our vets to detect a health problem that the owner wasn’t aware of.

Take Amy, for example, and her beagle-mix, Mollie. Amy began using PetWellClinic® in 2016 for vaccinations and to purchase prevention products for fleas and ticks. Recently, she brought Mollie into our West Hills location for an exam after Mollie developed a slight limp. The limp turned out to be most likely just from a sore muscle and quickly resolved itself, but during the exam Dr. Bodenstein detected a lump in Mollie’s ear that Amy had not seen or felt before.

“Mollie gets a lot of love and attention in our house, so I was really surprised we hadn’t found the lump before,” Amy said. “But it wasn’t visible and was in a place we just hadn’t felt. Mollie has other bumps and lumps that I monitor for changes, but it took a trained vet to find this one.”

Based on how the lump felt, Dr. Bodenstein recommended a simple needle aspiration to extract some of the lump’s cells, which he then examined under a microscope. The procedure was quick and easy, and because the cells indicated potentially cancerous activity he sent the sample to a pathology lab for a more in-depth diagnosis.  

The results confirmed that the lump was indeed a cancerous mast cell tumor that needed to be removed. After weighing her options, Amy chose to have Mollie’s surgery at My Pet’s Animal Hospital, which is the full-vet-service sister of PetWellClinic®. Dr. Sam Meisler performed the surgery and, because the tumor was caught early, found no indications that the cancer had spread.

Dr. Meisler said, “Sometimes we find masses or lumps or other changes on a pet that an owner may not notice, especially if the mass is slow growing. In addition, one of the most common conditions I find is tooth infection that may only be visible if you look at the upper jaw in the back of the mouth.”

“If we didn’t have the exam at PetWellClinic® who knows how long the mass would have continued to grow or even spread,” Amy said, noting that Mollie has fully recovered. The key is to be proactive in preventing—or detecting early, as in Mollie’s case—diseases rather than reacting after the disease is full-blown. The time and expense of wellness exams are drastically less than that involved when an undetected medical condition is allowed to progress.

Wellness walk-in clinics like PetWellClinic® in Knoxville and Alcoa are dedicated to helping dog and cat owners keep their pets from getting diseases and parasites, and to diagnosing and treating illnesses, minor injuries, and skin conditions. Our staff can also help you manage your pet’s chronic conditions, and monitor lab work in a quick and affordable manner.

By operating convenient hours for non-surgical care, PetWellClinic® is able to offer substantially discounted prices for wellness exams as well as flea and tick preventative products, vaccinations, and treatment of minor conditions. We operate as a “minute clinic” for your pet—no appointment necessary, with convenient hours and quick in-and-out service. You can save even more time by pre-registering and pre-paying online for our walk-in clinics.

PetWellClinic® has three locations: 10549 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37922; 7329 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919; and 228 S. Calderwood Street, Alcoa, TN 37701. Learn more about how PetWellClinic® can exceed your expectations for affordable, top quality pet care by visiting our website at www.petwellclinic.com.



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