Animal Care Clinic Tips

Nov 23, 2009 5:36 PM by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP

Disease Screening

This month we have looked at the many ways to help keep your pets healthy. This includes regular exams and vaccines, good nutrition, parasite control and screening for common diseases. Some pet owners are looking for more than that and want to do all they can to catch disease as early as possible. In these instances we can do more advanced screening tests.

Blood pressure testing is expected with every visit to the physician because high blood pressure is a very common problem among people. Dogs rarely get hypertension without a predisposing disease, but cats can develop the disease. Unfortunately, cats don't relax well while being tested so results are not always accurate.

People tend to get a slow onset form of glaucoma and so we are routinely screened for this disease. Most cases of glaucoma come on quite suddenly, so screening is only useful in a few breeds of dog.

As pets and people age, we feel the desire to screen for cancers. Chest x-rays and abdominal ultrasound can be added to regular exams and blood screens to help us find cancers in dogs and cats. Before performing these tests, we must be sure they will be of benefit to the pet - what are you as the pet owner going to do if we find a tumor in your otherwise healthy dog or cat? Most pet owners will not want to perform this type of screening.

Animal Care Clinic is equipped to perform all of this testing whether it be for disease screening or as part of a diagnostic work-up for your ill pets. We are available M-F 7:30-6, Sat 9-3 and Mondays until 8 p.m.



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