Preventative wellness tests can be done using your pet’s blood, urine, or feces (or a combination of them), and are designed to better diagnose current concerns, provide early detection of hidden concerns, or to establish a baseline or guide to see how your pet’s internal functions may change as they age.
Dogs are good, and cats are even better, at masking disease and illness – even dogs and cats that outwardly appear healthy. Preventative testing is able to detect if something is not correctly functioning with their internals, so steps can often be taken to manage or correct that concern before it becomes worse, or permanent damage occurs.
Preventative wellness testing is typically done when your pet visits with us for their yearly exam and vaccines. Being able to refer to previous wellness tests makes it easier for our veterinarians to detect minor changes or trends in the test results that may signal the onset of disease. In fact, depending on your pets age or specific health concerns, more frequent wellness testing may be recommended.
Wellness tests fall into four main categories – complete blood counts (referred to as “CBC”), biochemistry profiles, urinalysis, and thyroid hormone testing. Let’s talk about each category!
The CBC, or complete blood count, gives information about the quantity, size, and shape of the different cell types that are in the blood. There are red blood cells, that carry oxygen through the blood stream to the tissues; white blood cells, which respond to inflammation and fight infection; and platelets, which help the blood to clot. The CBC will also identify the presence of any abnormal cells that are present. It is a routine test that is used in most stages of health and illness and can indicate the presence of many diseases. If we are going to conduct a procedure that includes your pet being put under anesthesia, we may run a CBC prior to the procedure to ensure there are no hidden abnormalities we should be aware of that may affect them.
The biochemistry profile is a panel of tests that provide information about the organs and tissues in your pet, and helps to detect diabetes, kidney and liver disease, and other disorders. If the profile finds minor abnormalities, we may suggest that the test be repeated within a certain timeframe to see if they continue to be present or increase. With more serious abnormalities, more extensive diagnostics may be indicated – these can include xrays, ultrasounds, or a more extensive diagnostic workup.
Urinalysis testing is part of a thorough assessment of the kidneys and urinary system. It shows us the physical and chemical makeup of your pet’s urine, and tells us how well the kidneys are functioning, and identifies infection or inflammation in the urinary system. It can be a useful tool in detecting diabetes, or diagnosing cancer in the urinary system.
The most common thyroid disease is hypothyroidism, which is when your pet’s thyroid glands fail to produce enough thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland acts like a thermostat in your house – but instead of keeping the temperature at a certain level, the gland maintains the metabolic rate for your pet. When it malfunctions, there may be a lack of energy or lethargy, unexplainable weight gain, hair loss, or recurring skin or ear infections. Thyroid testing helps us diagnose this condition (amongst other thyroid concerns), and helps us take corrective action to get your pet healthy. Periodic testing is done if your pet is on thyroid medication, to ensure the dosage is doing it’s job properly, and to adjust it if necessary.
As we stated earlier, wellness testing is a very helpful tool – it can be used during the yearly exam to establish a baseline, or to detect unseen concerns before they become more serious. As your pet ages, more frequent and/or more extensive testing may be recommended. Testing is also used to help diagnose a variety of illnesses and internal concerns. The next time your pet visits with us, ask us if wellness testing should be done - we’ll be happy to share with you what would be most useful for their current age and physical condition.
We offer both preventative care services (much like your visits to the dentist), along with dental x-rays and tooth extractions. Good oral hygiene is the best thing that you can do to ensure a longer life, with less health concerns, for your pet. Call us to schedule a dental exam or service.x
Laboratory services are a vital part of the diagnostic process when it comes to veterinarian care. This is because in many cases it is not possible to be able to give a firm diagnosis without undertaking additional tests to confirm the root of the problem. If you have any questions or concerns your vet will be happy to speak to you.x
This is the most effective way to assist in having your companion returned if they go missing. The microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) is placed under the skin between the shoulder blades. When scanned, it provides information that assists in reuniting you with your furry friend!x
Congratulations on the newest member of your household - we can’t wait to meet them! Call us today to schedule an initial visit – our team will conduct a thorough physical exam, in addition to discussing nutrition, training, and medical care. We’ll be more than happy to answer any other questions you may have, as wellx
Laser therapy is a holistic, non-invasive treatment that reduces inflammation, decreases pain, and accelerates healing for a variety of conditions. It is useful as a post-surgical treatment, for acute conditions such as sprains, strains, and wounds, and chronic conditions such as degenerative joint disease and osteoarthritis.x