Animal Hospital News

Wellness Screening for Pets for Optimal Wellness

posted by Dr. Deb on July 8th, 2012 in Cats, Dogs

Wellness lab screening is a way for your veterinarian to check your pet on the inside.  The objective of running wellness lab tests is to identify changes in health early- before your pet develops a health crisis that may be painful , life threatening or expensive to treat.   With early detection, many conditions can be treated and cured.  Some age-related or degenerative diseases may not be cured, but can be slowed down by proactive lifestyle management.  Sometimes those lifestyle changes are fairly simple– diet change, exercise change, or nutritional supplementation. 

Adult Wellness Screen

We recommend an “Adult Wellness Screen” annually for our pet patients from 4-8 years of age.  This short blood screen looks briefly at liver enzymes, kidney values and a complete blood count, looking for evidence of disease or infection.

Senior Screen

Older pets, ususally 9 years and older, should have a more comprehensive screening once a year.  We recommend a Senior Screen, which includes 25 organ chemistry values, complete blood count, thyroid screen, pancreas screen, and urinalysis.  Many older pet patients have urinary tract infections, liver disease, kidney disease, pancreatitis, and hidden infections.  And they aren’t showing any outward signs!  Because animals are so good at hiding their illnesses, owners often even think their pets are “just fine, attributing subtle signs of illness  to “just getting old”. 

Heartworm Testing

We also recommend Heartworm Testing once yearly.  Even though there is not a lot of Heartworm disease in Arizona, there are more and more cases every year.  Heartworm disease is usually fatal and treating it can be fatal, so Preventive medication, taken once a month, is highly recommended.  Whether your pet is getting preventive or not, testing your pet once yearly will help identify infection early, making treatment less dangerous.

 Fecal Sample should be tested at least once yearly for any pet that goes outside.

Hip Dysplasia Screening

Large breed dogs are more likely to develop hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis, so we also offer radiographic hip dysplasia screening.

Breed Specific Screening

Some breeds of dogs and cats have special health risks that should be screened for on a regular basis. Dog Breed Disease risks are listed here.  If your dog is listed here, ask your vet about screening for common diseases.

Proactive Wellness screening allows early detection of disease allowing you and your veterinarian to restore your pet to health and happiness as soon as possible so can live a long happy life together.

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