When you choose to become a parent to a new pet, one of the first things on your agenda should be getting your latest family member registered with a veterinarian.
Our vet at Charlotte Animal Hospital will be your biggest support in keeping your furry, feathered or scaly creature as healthy and active as possible during their lifetime.
Our vet will probably make a number of recommendations to you, including about what diet your lovable animal should be eating, what vaccinations they need and when you should consider spaying/neutering them. Another thing that our vet will almost certainly talk to you about is wellness screening - a highly effective tool in preventative care.
What is veterinary wellness screening?
Veterinary wellness screening refers to a series of tests that are performed with the intention of establishing the health of your pet. Unlike most visits to the vet, which tend to occur because an owner suspects that their animal is unwell, wellness screening takes place when your pet seems perfectly healthy. However, since most animals find a trip to the veterinarian extremely stressful, this is one of the factors that tends to put owners off of having this important part of preventative care. Nevertheless, wellness screening can make all the difference between spotting a potential health problem early and successful treatment of an illness or disease.
The importance of preventative care
One of the main reasons why preventative care is so important is because animals age much faster than we do. This means that their bodies also change much more rapidly, and when health problems do arise, they can progress at the same, rapid rate.
Unfortunately, animals prefer to hide it when they are unwell, and by the time symptoms are spotted, in most cases the condition has already progressed considerably. However, by monitoring the health of your animal closely using veterinary wellness screening, our veterinarian can spot changes in her usual pattern of health and undertake further investigations earlier than waiting for symptoms to show. This has several distinct benefits, including:
- Treatment before painful and potentially debilitating symptoms arise
- Earlier treatment tends to be much more straightforward than what may be required if the disease progresses
- Fewer trips to our veterinarian
- Better response to the treatment, which is started earlier
- Faster recovery and improved outcomes for your pet
What is included in veterinary wellness screening?
Exactly what is included in veterinary wellness screening programs tends to vary slightly depending on the package that your professional offers. However, typically you can expect:
- A complete blood count. This is a type of blood test that looks at the number of red and white cells in your pet's blood, and is a good indicator of anemia, that your body is already fighting an illness or a general view of her overall health.
- Blood chemistry testing. This looks at the balance of chemicals within your body to determine if everything is at the appropriate levels. The results of blood chemistry testing can tell our veterinarian about the health of your pet's organs and whether she is at risk of diabetes, amongst other illnesses.
- Urinalysis. Your pet's urine can actually tell our vet a great deal about her wellbeing, including whether she is dehydrated, if her kidney and liver function is good and more.
- Parasite testing. Parasite tests often involve using a stool sample, although not all parasites can be detected this way. Some, such as heartworm, can only be diagnosed using a blood test.
- Dental examination. Not all veterinarians offer this service, but an annual check-up of your pet's teeth can prove crucial in preventing periodontal disease, an inflammatory condition caused by plaque irritating the gums. Left untreated, infection, tooth loss, jaw bone deterioration and even the wider body can be adversely affected.
If you would like more information about veterinary wellness screening and early detection testing services, our dedicated and knowledgeable team would be happy to assist you. Please call our vets in Port Charlotte, FL to speak to us or to schedule your pet an appointment.