Your Dog’s Veterinarian Visit: 6 Basic Areas Of A Full Examination

It is up to you to notice any changes in your dog’s behavior or other odd instances that may indicate that your dog is sick. After all, he cannot tell you when he is feeling bad. Any information that you can give to the vet will be helpful in determining what may be the problem. In most instances, the vet will carry out a complete basic physical examination. During this examination he will more than likely ask you a lot of questions about your dog.

The following are all of the common areas of the dog that your vet will look into during a full examination:

short-coated tricolor dog standing on bed
Image credit: Kara Eads | Unsplash

1. Nose: Dogs typically have cold and wet noses. Your vet will be looking for any discharge and/or physical changes in the appearance of the nose. However, the vet will not be too concerned if your dog’s nose is hot or dry.

2. Nails: The vet will take a look at your dog’s nails and also the nail bed for damage, if he shows signs of licking or lameness. Some dogs have uneven wear and tear on their nails which means that the dog has been favoring one leg and may have an injury. If the vet finds that the nails are flaky, then further steps can be taken for a possible metabolic disorder.

3. Eyes: Many dogs unfortunately inherit or acquire eye diseases. However, sudden changes in the eyes of your dog may indicate a more complicated disease elsewhere in his body. A thorough eye examination will help give the vet clues about where else he may need to look for problems.

brown and white long coated dog
Image credit: Petra Bouchalova | Unsplash

4. Mouth: The mouth area is checked for gum inflammation and tooth decay. Examining the dog’s mouth will also give the vet a chance to check his blood pressure. This is done by pressing his finger up against the gums. If your dog has pale gums, then it could be anemia. If there is a yellowish color on your then this is possibly a liver problem.

5. Skin & Coat: By checking the coat and the skin of your dog, the vet can determine the possibility of other issues. For example, if the coat is dull in color, then this may be an indication of parasites or a minor infection that may exist anywhere else in the body.

6. Genitals: If your dog is female, then the vet will check the vulva for discharge or inflammation. Either of these two could represent a disorder of the urinary system or the reproductive system. Likewise, a male dog’s testicles and penis are examined for possible inflammation and swelling.


  • Gene Sower

    The guest author is a passionate dog lover and enthusiast with years of experience in canine care and training. With a deep understanding of dog behavior and a commitment to promoting responsible pet ownership, the author shares insightful tips and engaging stories to enrich the lives of both dogs and their owners.

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