Why Wellness Blood Screening is Important For Your Pet
No one really disputes the importance of regular veterinary wellness exams. Wellness exams allow veterinarians to discover developing health issues while they’re still in their early stages and, therefore, more easily and effectively treated. Sometimes they reveal developing problems before the owners even notice any issues. Since pets’ lives are unfortunately shorter than ours, a few months for them is the equivalent to years for us. For this reason, wellness exams should be performed every 6 months.
The Purposes of Wellness Blood Screening
Wellness blood screening is a valuable component of veterinary wellness exams. It plays several vital roles. For one thing, it allows your vet to find internal health issues that may not be detectable by means of a physical examination. Some conditions simply cannot be detected by sight, by listening to a pet’s heart and lungs, or by feeling various parts of an animal’s body.
However, wellness blood screening tests are also important for healthy pets. They establish normal baseline values for future comparisons. If the results of future tests differ from the pet’s baseline values, the changes can indicate developing health issues that require treatment. Without wellness blood screening and the baseline values it establishes, those changes cannot be identified and the pet will not receive treatment that could be vitally important. It’s particularly helpful to establish a pet’s baseline values while he or she is still young, before the onset of any age-related changes or serious health conditions.
Wellness blood testing can also help your vet evaluate or anticipate any possible risks associated with anesthetic procedures (spaying, neutering, cat declawing and teeth cleaning, for example). The treatment protocol may be altered for pets with certain health conditions which are detectable through wellness blood testing.
Basic Wellness Blood Tests
Basic blood wellness testing will almost always include a blood chemistry panel. The results will, among other things, help your vet assess whether your pet’s liver and kidneys are functioning properly. It can also detect diabetes and reveal evidence of Cushing’s disease and thyroid problems.
Certain hematology tests (collectively called a complete blood count or CBC) will also be performed. They include a red blood cell count, white blood cell count, platelet count, hemoglobin, hematocrit and more. These tests are used to screen for evidence of anemia, bone marrow dysfunction, leukemia, inflammation, infection, inadequate clotting ability and other conditions.
Additional blood screening tests may be ordered, depending on your vet and your pet’s overall health and age. Just like people, pets become more susceptible to illness as they grow older, and early detection becomes increasingly important.
To Sum Up
Wellness exams, including wellness blood screening, are an essential part of ongoing veterinary care. Blood tests can help your vet discover diseases, illnesses and other health conditions with no outward clinical symptoms, or symptoms so subtle that they’re virtually undetectable by physical examination. They allow the diagnosis of conditions before they become severe, enabling earlier, more effective (and in many cases less expensive) treatment. They also help your vet assess the risks if your pet is scheduled for a surgical or dental procedure.
Schedule your pets wellness exam today by calling (281) 392-7544. We’re here to help!