In the new age of pet medicine, veterinarians have begun recommending lab-work for our four-legged friends annually, rather than an as-needed diagnostic. But why? Several factors come into play; things like breed disposition, age, and lifestyle are all important. In the first year of growth, dogs and cats are compared to a fifteen year old human, and are recommended to have baseline blood testing ran at that time. This article will briefly review why that lab work is necessary for your pet.
Basic blood testing ran on your pet is typically comprised of a complete blood count (CBC), which measures the number of red and white blood cells (giving us information about infection, hydration, etc.) platelet counts, and many other cell types. In addition, a blood chemistry is run; this test looks at the values of the kidneys, liver and pancreas. Very vital organs in the body, your doctor will confirm that these organs are functioning properly to rule out disease processes, congenital disorders, toxicity, and so much more. The kidneys and liver are responsible for processing anesthesia, oral medications, like pain medications and antibiotics, which is why your veterinarian may recommend lab work prior to any anesthetic procedure or beginning any new medications.
Available to the veterinary world is a vast variety of lab tests to be ran, including testing for the thyroid, urinalysis, testing for metabolic disorders, and so much more! Choosing to do annual lab work for your pet allows your Veterinarian to earlier detect any health concerns, and help you rest at ease that he or she is in great health.