Importance of Annual Blood Tests for Pets – Preventive Health Care
Most of us treat our pets like they are part of the family. Because of this, it can be easy to forget that they are not far removed from wild animals and still have many of the same instincts and tendencies that allowed the species to survive all these years. One of these instincts still in play is the act of hiding any signs of weakness, sickness, or pain from the outside world – avoiding potential predation as they get better. This is one of the reasons behind the importance of annual blood tests for pets. You get to ‘have eyes’ on what they are not telling you before conditions get out of hand.
The Annual Blood Test – Screening Out Disease
It happens all the time. A pet parent comes in with a pet they assume is in perfect health only to find out that they have been developing a serious health condition for quite some time. Additionally, it’s only getting more complicated as it advances into later stages. This is not an experience anybody wants to go through.
The good news is that we have some very simple yet powerful ways to detect early signs of disease far before they become a pressing issue for your pet’s health. Bringing your pet in for an annual wellness exam is one of the most effective methods you can use to get ahead of potential pet health issues. One of the tools we use during a wellness exam is a blood test.
Early detection through blood tests helps to deal with difficult situations before they arise. Senior pets, for instance, often have multiple diseases affecting their health. This makes pinpointing a diagnosis, prescribing proper medications, and assigning an at home care routine much more challenging. A full blood panel can help ensure your pet gets the exact care they need for complicated situations.
What Does A Blood Test?
There are three primary observations that a standard blood panel provides. These standard observations are:
Complete Blood Count (CBC) - This test shows your veterinarian the numbers of each of your pet’s blood cells – red, white, and platelets. Low red blood cells can suggest anemia, high white cell count can suggest inflammation, and low platelet count can suggest a problem with clotting. This is an overly simplified example with many more factors involved, but you can get the picture.
Blood Chemistry Profile - This test allows your vet to understand the state of your pet’s organ health, electrolyte balance, endocrine health, blood sugar levels, and more. This test is vitally important to get a full picture of the internal ecosystem of your pet’s unique body. For instance, if blood sugar levels are high, it could be an early sign of diabetes. The idea here is to get a full overview of your pet’s internal chemistry. This provides a baseline to work with over time – we can reference each test over the years to see any changes as your pet matures.
Heartworm Testing - Parasites are a common issue among the pet population. Because of this, heartworm testing is a standard part of the blood panel. Making sure to undergo preventive treatment if you live in an area known for high-populations of heartworm is important, and these tests can help you monitor the situation.
There are a few more tests that can be done when more detailed or specific information is required. This is only done when needed, often due to an underlying issue that is detected in a standard blood panel that requires further investigation.
The importance of annual blood tests for pets cannot be overstated. This is especially true when it comes to senior pets. Even if your pet looks like they are in top shape for their age there could be some serious underlying conditions developing that can often only be detected through blood tests. This is one of the best tools we have in preventing, diagnosing, and treating disease. If you’d like to schedule a wellness visit, reach out to us here at Bridge Park Animal Hospital today! We would love to have you and your pet stop by. If anything, remember that we are always here to help with whatever you need. Call us at 770-569-5799 or email us at email@example.com.
As summer gives way to winter, you have to prepare not just your home and car but also your pets for the season. There’s a common but alarming view that animals are hardy enough to stay safe and sound outdoors, even during cold weather.
People love their animals. Whether a horse, rabbit, dog, cat or something else, responsible pet owners do an amazing job of providing everything needed. That includes having the pets seen by a fantastic vet.
Humans react to hot weather in the same way pets do. However, pets only have some sweat glands on their paws and noses, which are not adequate to cool them down. This is why pets resort to external cooling and panting to help regulate their temperature.
Research shows that dogs and cats always love to appreciate the smells and the sights of the areas outside your home. Unfortunately, there are opportunistic organisms that can dampen the hike or the walk your pet takes with you — deer ticks.
There are many different parasites that can affect our pets, but veterinary experts are in agreement that heartworms are one of the most dangerous. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the parasite lives in the blood vessels of the heart and lungs of your pet, rather than the digestive system. And secondly, heartworm infections are hard to spot since the symptoms develop slowly and are very mild.
Thank you to all of our wonderful clients who have been patient and understanding as we alter our practice protocols to better protect our team, clients, and most importantly—our patients. We are taking this pandemic one day at a time, but want to keep everyone informed on the most recent updates with our practice.
Some foods that might be good for humans can be dangerous for your pets. The same goes for other household objects, such as plants and medications. It is always a good idea to keep chemicals and medications away from your pets. Before feeding them any food that isn’t designed for pets, you should consult your veterinarian.
When it comes to tick-borne diseases, a single bite can be all it takes to do the job. Ticks can harbor multiple infectious pathogens that they pick up from other wildlife in the region. These pathogens can be transmitted to your pet with only a single bite making prevention a cornerstone aspect in your pet care and wellness plan.