Believe it or not, cats and dogs over the age of 7 are considered to be senior. Pets are fantastic at masking illness and may be suffering from disease or pain even if they do not appear to be sick. Even a subtle change in behavior, whether it is a change in drinking, urinating, energy level, etc, can mean a lot! It is important to detect disease as early on if possible in order to prevent and/or manage it effectively.
Wellness testing is particularly important in our older pets as they are at greater risk of developing health issues or suffering from a chronic condition. Regular wellness testing should be practiced and can be easily combined with their annual examination and vaccines.
What is involved in wellness testing?
Biochemistry profile – This blood panel examines the organs and tissues of the body. In addition to examining the kidney, liver and pancreas it also includes measurements of electrolytes, protein and glucose. If abnormalities are revealed further diagnostics may be recommended, including an expanded biochemistry profile.
Complete blood count – This blood test gives information on the different cell types in the blood, including red blood cells, white blood cell and platelets. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body to tissues. White blood cells respond to inflammation and infection. Platelets are responsible for healing and blood clotting.
Thyroid hormone level – The thyroid acts like a thermostat of the body and regulates metabolism throughout your pet’s entire system. The most common thyroid disorder in dogs is hypothyroidism in contrast to cats who suffer from hyperthyroidism more commonly. Abnormal thyroid hormone levels can be responsible for issue like weight gain, weight loss, hair loss, recurring skin/ear infections, increased urination/drinking, etc.
Urinalysis: Examining your pet’s urine can provide useful information on their kidneys and urinary system. It is helpful in assessing kidney function, identifying urinary tract infection or inflammation, diabetes or cancer within the urinary system.
In some cases further testing or diagnostics may be recommended.
Speak with our healthcare team today about wellness testing in your pet!