It is recommended that dogs over the age of four get bloodwork done annually for several reasons. For instance, it is necessary in cases of illness, emergency situations, preanesthetic testing, preventative care screening, medication monitoring, and early detection of heartworm, flea and tick borne illnesses.
This testing involves sending out a sample of your pets blood which screens for heartworm disease, lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis.
Heartworm: Transmitted through mosquitos, heartworm infects the heart and its surrounding vessels and if not detected early could lead to death. Testing is necessary for all dogs whether they are an outdoor or strictly indoor dog. Mosquitos are small and have the ability to get into your home. It is estimated that nearly 300,000 dogs become infected with heartworm each year, and cases are reported in all 50 states. Signs that your pet might be infected include a persistent cough, fatigue, decreased appetite and weight loss.
Lyme Disease: A bacterial infection transmitted by ticks. The infection leads to lameness, reluctance to move, swollen and/or painful joints, lack of energy, and increased urination. It tends to localize in joints or kidneys. If left untreated it becomes a recurring infection.
Enrlichiosis: A bacterial infection transmitted by ticks. Symptoms of the infection include loss of appetite, depression, lameness, swollen and/or painful joints, bloody nose and pale gums. The disease could range from acute (early stage), sub-clincal(no outward symptoms) and clinicalorchronic (long-standing infection)
Anaplasmosis: A bacterial infection transmitted by ticks. This infection can cause lack of energy, lameness, fever, swollen and/or painful joints, and loss of appetite. It is not uncommon to have a co-infection with Lyme disease.
For older dogs usually ranging from 6 years and older, it is recommended to have a more comprehensive test performed yearly. It is used to identify any diseases or areas of concern ahead of time. This testing includes a complete blood cell count (CBC) which identifies if the dog has an infection, inflammation present or is anemic. The chemistry performed as part of the wellness test checks proteins, blood sugar and the functions of liver and kidneys.
A complete blood chemistry panel that is more in-depth than the wellness. It provides information on your pet’s liver, kidneys, pancreas, as well as blood sugar, and hydration.
This test includes physical, chemical, and microscopic evaluation of urine. It provides addition information about the kidneys, liver, and overall well-being of your pet for a comprehensive evaluation.
As you pet gets older, their thyroid function can become abnormal and cause illnesses. This test examines thyroxine (T4), a hormone produced by the thyroid gland and essential for growth and metabolism. It may indicate hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.