Understanding why it’s important to do preventative care testing for your pet

The picture of your pet’s health isn’t complete without comprehensive testing.  These tests often detect illness that can’t be discovered with a physical examination alone. There are many reasons why your pet could require a blood test.  Blood tests look at the function of the immune system, the organs and the presence of any disease.  Blood tests are also used to identify potential problems before an anaesthetic, to show us how the liver and kidney are functioning.  It will also give us a ‘baseline’, so any tests done in the future can be compared.

Your pet’s blood values may change over time. These changes are often subtle, so individual results may appear to be ‘normal’.

Every animal is unique, so it’s important to know what a normal result is for your pet. By establishing your pet’s baseline values during health, we have something to compare his or her results to on a yearly basis.

Trending these results helps us diagnose problems earlier and respond quickly. Early detection leads to better outcomes, improved quality of life and lower treatment costs, should they arise. Because chemicals found in the blood stream can also effect specific organs, lab work can help determine more than just blood count.

Additionally, blood tests for pets can also identify:

Chemistry tests                                    Glucose                                   Inflammation

Complete blood count (CBC)            Proteins                                  Hydration

Thyroid function test                          Electrolytes                           Anaemia

Endocrine Levels                                 Infection

Digestive Enzymes                              Potential Muscle Damage

Cholesterol                                           Organ function

Your pet ages much faster than humans (around 7-8 years for one of ours), so that is why it is vitally important that a check-up every 6 months is done to stay on top of their health.

A 6 monthly check-up is equal to a check-up every 3 years for a human.

What happens?

Blood tests can be carried out during a regular consultation.  Generally, a small amount of hair from your pet’s leg or neck will be clipped and we sterilise the area and collect blood with a syringe needle.  The blood is then placed in tubes and processed here at the hospital or if more detailed information is required, it will be send away to an external laboratory.