Routine screening tests are an essential part of your pet’s veterinary care and should be performed at every wellness visit. While abnormal test results help our veterinarians identify and treat potential problems promptly, normal test results are also important. Our veterinary team will record your pet’s normal values to use as a comparison and to note any changes at future examinations. Our team at Town & Country Animal Hospital explains common wellness screening tests and the valuable information they provide. 

Benefits of wellness screening tests 

Pet owners sometimes ask us why their pet needs diagnostic tests when they seem perfectly healthy. The answer—the best time to run diagnostics is before a problem exists. Wellness screening test results help you and your pet live a longer, healthier, happier life together by:

  • Establishing a baseline — Routine wellness screening tests determine your pet’s normal baseline values that our veterinarians can compare with future test results, looking for subtle changes that may signal early stage disease.
  • Detecting diseases early — While your pet may appear healthy, diseases can progress long before your pet exhibits illness signs. Treatment is more effective when diseases are detected and treated early, and can prolong your pet’s life.
  • Saving you money — Regular preventive care that includes wellness screening tests contributes to your pet’s long, healthy life—and saves you money in the long run. By spending money to evaluate and monitor your pet’s health annually, you can avoid costly treatment for a long-undetected, advanced condition. 

Common wellness screening tests for pets

Each pet is unique, and our veterinarians determine the wellness screenings for your pet based on their specific needs. Based on your pet’s age, lifestyle, and health status, your veterinarian may recommend additional diagnostic testing, but a regular pet wellness screening includes:

  • Blood work —  A complete blood count (CBC) assesses your pet’s red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, and can help determine if your pet is dehydrated, anemic, stressed, or dealing with an infection or inflammation.
  • Chemistry profile — While a CBC evaluates the blood, a general chemistry profile is focused on organ function—especially of the liver, kidneys, and pancreas—and electrolytes, hormones, and blood sugar levels. 
  • UrinalysisUrinalysis analyzes a urine sample by its visual appearance, chemical composition, and microscopically, and provides vital information about the function of your pet’s urinary system, other body systems, and disease. Urinalysis can detect urinary tract infections and crystals and help diagnose diabetes, liver disease, and prostate cancer.
  • Fecal tests — Your veterinarian may ask you to bring in you pet’s fresh fecal sample, to check for parasite eggs that can leach your pet’s nutrition and cause gastrointestinal (GI) issues. Fortunately, heartworm preventives can protect pets against intestinal parasites. 
  • Blood-borne parasite testing — Heartworm and tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis, can cause serious health concerns and possible death. Routine parasite testing ensures your pet’s parasite prevention protocol is effective and—if not—allows your pet’s veterinarian to make adjustments and provide prompt care for your pet.
  • Thyroid panel — Your veterinarian may recommend a thyroid panel for your senior pet, since older pets are at higher risk for thyroid disease. Your pet’s abnormal thyroid hormone level may indicate a problem with their metabolic health, but medications are available to regulate an abnormally functioning thyroid gland. 
  • Blood pressure — A blood pressure test measures the blood’s pressure against the large arteries’ walls. Senior pets are more likely to develop hypertension—a disease associated with high blood pressure—in conjunction with other health issues, such as heart disease.

Normal wellness screening test results are ideal 

We care for your pet like our own, and we see every normal result as a reason to celebrate. When your pet’s test results are all normal, that’s great news for you, your pet, and your veterinarian. We love getting to know your pet inside and out, and normal test results provide us with meaningful data we can use to better care for your special pet.  

Contact Town & Country Animal Hospital to schedule your pet’s next wellness exam and screening. We will celebrate with you when tests show your furry friend is in tip-top health.