Animal Hospital News

Adult Wellness Screening for Cats and Dogs- Keeping them Healthy!

posted by Dr. Deb on November 18th, 2011 in Other

 

  • Baseline for comparison in times of illness
  • Early disease detection and correction avoids crises

Adult Wellness Screening is a valuable tool for keeping your beloved furry family member healthy– especially since they don’t tell us when they feel “off” all the time.  Adult Wellness Screening involves a small blood sampling to briefly evaluate a pet’s blood sugar, liver enzymes, kidney values and a Complete blood count. 

Baseline Values-  Armed with your pet’s “normal” values, your veterinarian can make faster, better medical decisions for your pet if he gets sick. 

Early Illness Detection-  Catching disease in early stages allows you and your veterinarian to make small changes in your pet’s  lifestyle to slow down the progression of disease or turn around early disease.  During early stages of disease, nutritional management and supplements have the greatest impact– the greatest protective and therapeutic value.  Learing about issues early on and making small changes earlier in the state of a disease can save hundreds and thousands of dollars as well as emotional heart ache during a crisis.

During Wellness Screening in apparently “healthy” patients, we have found pets with early degenerative liver disease that we have arrested by prescribing liver antioxidant supplements.  We have identified signs that led us to diagnosing Tick Fever, Valley Fever and Heartworm disease so we could treat these patients before they experienced life-threatening symptoms!  We are often able to uncover early kidney disease in cats, allowing us to make diet changes and add supplements to their diets that allow them to live for years more before needing medication! 

In our experience, 4 out of 10 pets show evidence of subtle abnormalities in their Adult Wellness Screens by age 6. 

An Adult Wellness Screening should be done once yearly on pets between the age of 4 and 8.  After all, this is middle-aged– equivalent to a human of 40 – 65 years.  Remembering that dogs and cats age approximately 5 “years” to our one year during middle age, checking a blood profile once every 5 years doesn’t seem so unreasonable.

Current Lifestage Guidelines for Dogs and Cats*

  • Veterinary Exam every 6 months (Remember, pets in mid-life age about 5 years to every human 1 year)
  • Vaccinations as needed  (Based on Life Risk Assessment)
  • Fecal sample for Internal Parasite testing
  • Contagious Disease Testing  (Based on Life Risk Assessment)
  • Wellness Blood testing once a year

We, at Cimarron, are advocates of preventive medicine because we have seen the huge improvement in our patients’ lives– longer lives, more active lives, thanks to the discoveries that we have made during routine wellness screening in our apparently healthy patients.  We hope that Wellness Screening can help your pet live longer and happier, too!

* Compilation of recommendations made by

  • American Animal Hospital Association
  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • American Heartworm Association
  • Council on Animal Parasite Control
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