Early Detection Evaluations and BloodTesting for your Pet
By sharing life and love with you, your pet has given you a precious gift. Consider giving your pet something in return, the gift of wellness! It is important for young puppies and kittens to visit the veterinarian early in life to receive regular examinations, vaccinations, screenings for parasitic and congenital conditions, and surgical spaying and neutering. What is so important about checking fecals and strategic dewormings? Click Here to find out!
If your pet is reaching middle age or the senior years, early disease detection and treatment can help us extend and improve the quality of your pet's life. Early detection blood testing allows us to find abnormalities that have subtle symptoms, or that we may not be able to find with a physical exam alone. Finding these abnormalities early helps us provide intervention and treatment before problems become serious. To learn more about some of the problems of Aging & Senior Pets click this link.
Should my pet "fast" for blood testing?
Your pet's complete wellness health care involves several important steps.
Help your veterinarian obtain a complete and thorough medical history. Tell your veterinarian about your pet's activity, eating and drinking behavior, bathroom habits, and behavior.
A complete physical examination is a vital component of pet care. Be sure to tell your vet if you are noticing any lumps or bumps on the skin, or if you pet is itching or scratching. Tell your vet if your pet is experiencing lameness, trouble rising or walking.
- Does Your Pet Need Early Detection Testing? Click this link for an Early Detection Questionnaire to determine if your pet is at risk. What's the Value in Early Detection Blood Testing? Read this informative Blog from a Seattle Veterinarian with examples of how early detection helped her patients.
Blood chemistry, hematology, urinalysis, and fecal laboratory testing will provide a detailed look of your pet from the inside! There are many conditions that cannot be diagnosed by by looking, listening, and touching. Click here for a Early Detection Guide brochure with more details. For the special needs of our Feline Patients, click the Feline Early Detection Guide brochure.
Benefits of Early Detection laboratory testing can include
Establishing healthy baseline values for your pet. Many patients show subtle changes in their blood values over time. These changes cannot be identified without knowing the normal level for that individual patient. It can be especially helpful to obtain these values when a patient is young, prior to any illness or age related changes.
The ability to identify unseen disease at an early stage. Identifying diseases before severe clinical signs increases the likelihood of a successful outcome. Diagnosing problems early often lessens the cost of treatment. Early identification prevents waiting until your pet suffers from symptoms of severe illness.
Early Detection Laboratory testing can serve as pre-anesthetic health screens to assess risks for anesthetic and surgical procedures and dental procedures.
Early Detecton laboratory testing is important for patients starting or receiving chronic medications. Pre-medication screening is important to help avoid using medications that may be unsafe for a pet's medical condition or health status. Regular blood tests ensure that we can identify unwanted side effects that can occur with many medications. For more information on Therapeutic Drug MonitoringTests click this link.
At Deer Run Animal Hospital we have an in-house laboratory, including an Abaxis STAT blood chemistry analyzer, when immediate blood test results are necessary for urgent conditions and pre-surgical profiles. We also use Antech Diagnostic Laboratories for most of our early detection profiles and for more extensive diagnostic laboratory testing. Antech is a national veterinary laboratory with an outstanding reputation for accuracy and quality control.
To aid in Understanding Your Pet's Blood Work Results, please click on this link for a handout with explanations of individual tests
Here are three more handouts on Blood Analysis & Testing to help you Understand Your Pet's Bloodwork and to learn What Do Blood Tests Mean.
Video Review of Basic Blood Profile Results
Our pets are increasingly vulnerable to many illnesses as they reach their later years of life. Their health problems related to advancing years are similar to our own, including:
* Heart disease
* Liver disease
* Kidney disease
* Dental problems
* Digestive disorders
* Thyroid conditions
A basic early detection blood screening for your pet may include:
* White blood cell analysis to monitor for evidence of infection, inflammation, or other diseases
* Red blood cell analysis to evaluate for anemia, bone marrow function, dehydration
* Platelet count to help evaluate blood clotting ability
* A Blood chemistry profile (evaluates major organs, i.e., liver, kidneys, and blood proteins. It also screens for diabetes, and evidence of Cushing's disease.)
Additional testing depending on the age and individual needs of a pet may include:
* Electrolyte abnormalities
* Thyroid screening
* Radiographs (x-rays) of the chest and abdomen
* Ultrasound examination of the heart or abdomen
* Electrocardiogram (ECG)
* Blood Pressure Screening