Preventive Exams

Why We Recommend Annual Exams for All Pets

Our San Francisco veterinarians recommend all pets have at least annual Comprehensive Physical Exams. Vaccinations are only a part of our plan to prevent illness, treat disease and ensure optimal health for your pet. Whether a turtle, a rabbit, a guinea pig, a dog, a cat, or an exotic pet, The Doctors at Balboa Pet Hospital Veterinarians need you to be your pet’s advocate. Subtle changes in behavior can be a clue that there is something else going on. Preventive exams and a good relationship with your veterinarian are as important as they are for you and your medical doctor.

Pet’s tend to hide their symptoms

Your pet will be tested annually for heartworm (cats as well as dogs in some cases) and we will also collect a fecal sample at least yearly to check for internal parasites. In addition, our San Francisco veterinarians recommend that your pet has routine or preventive care blood tests and urinalysis before your pet reaches the senior years in order to obtain baseline values which can be used for comparison later in your pet’s life. In apparently healthy pets, we sometimes find disease processes in their early stages, early enough that treatment can be started before symptoms become apparent. More frequent examinations are required as your pet enters middle age or senior years, just like humans!

Changing Veterinary Care Recommendations

Our San Francisco Veterinarians are committed to assisting you in determining the appropriate care for each of your pets. They will listen and work with you to provide the best possible plan for your pet. Our recommendations are in agreement with the Preventive Care Guidelines published by the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Animal Hospital Association. These guidelines have been a key factor in pets living longer, good quality lives.

Staying Informed of Costs – No Surprises

After your pet’s exam, you will be informed of the approximate cost of any diagnostics or treatment needed before it is completed. Discuss with our staff any financial constraints you might have. We will do our best to come up with a treatment plan that works for you and your pet.

Our Veterinary Comprehensive Physical Exam includes:


  • History, including evaluation of
  • Life style and life stage
  • Behavior
  • Diet


  • Comprehensive physical examination, including
  • Dental assessment
  • Pain assessment
  • Body and muscle condition scoring

On the basis of history and physical examination findings, assessments are made for:

  • Medical conditions
  • Infectious and zoonotic diseases
  • Parasite prevention and control
  • Dental care
  • Genetic, breed and age considerations
  • Behavior
  • Nutrition

Take a look at our Pet Care GuidelinesThey will assist you in providing an appropriate environment and care at home. They are NOT a substitute for timely veterinary exams, care or consultation.