Nov 23, 2009 5:34 PM by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP
Part of ensuring that your pets live a long and healthy life involves screening for abnormalities before outward signs begin.
In human medicine we try to catch disease early by running pap smears, mammograms, blood pressure checks and much more. Since dogs and cats can't talk, their diseases progress much further before we can detect outward signs - if a dog has an occasional headache or intermittent nausea, we will not know.
Therefore, we recommend screening for disease based on a pets age, lifestyle and other risk factors.
Outdoor cats are usually tested for Feline Leukemia and Feline Aids annually, while dogs that might be exposed to mosquitoes and ticks should be tested for Heartworm, Lyme Disease and Ehrlichiosis.
Older pets will usually have an annual blood and urine screen to monitor kidney and liver function, hormonal diseases such as diabetes or thyroid disease and much more. The age at which we begin recommending these "older pet" screens is based on the size and general health of the pet - smaller pets tend to live longer and so are older before we are likely to see changes in their blood screens.
At Animal Care Clinic we recognize that it can be difficult to pay for lab screening and we are determined to work with you to help you care for your pets within your budget.
Come talk to us about prioritizing care or maybe payment options. We are available M-F 7:30-6, Sat 9-3 and Mondays until 8 p.m.
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