With Wellness Testing, problems can be detected early, and steps taken to correct or manage them. Wellness Testing can be done anytime. However, many people find it convenient to start or combine a Wellness Program with their regular visits to the Veterinarian for physical examination and vaccination, routine dental care or heartworm testing.
There are 4 basic tests used in Wellness Testing to help ensure safe anesthesia for your pet.
1. Complete Blood Count (CBC) – includes analysis of: RBC, WBC, Hgb, Hct, MCV, MCHC, Platelets, and more. A Complete Blood Count can detect anemia, infection, and some blood clotting problems. Blood examination may also reveal the presence of abnormal cells.
2. Biochemistry Profile – includes analysis of:
Liver (albumin, ALT, Alk, Phos, AST, Bilirubin, Bile Acids, GGT, Cholesterol). These tests indicate how well the liver is working, and provide information about liver damage, inflammation and bile blockage.
Kidney (Urea, Creatinine, Phosphorus, Potassium). Kidney disease causes urea and creatinine levels to rise, often with changes in phosphorus and potassium. Kidney testing is frequently combined with urinalysis.
Pancreas (Amylase, Lipase, Glucose, TLI). Diabetes mellitus, inflammation of the pancreas, and pancreatic failure are serious diseases; fortunately they can all be detected with a simple blood test.
Muscle and Bone (AST, CPK, Calcium, Phosphorus). Increased levels of AST and CPK can signal muscle injury or inflammation. Calcium and phosphorus are indicators of bone health, and abnormal levels suggest the presence of disease.
Electrolytes (Calcium, Potassium, Sodium and Chloride). These elements form the “electrical” system of the body and help cells communicate with each other. Proper electrolyte levels are necessary for muscle contraction, and for the conduction of heart and nerve impulses.
3. Thyroid Function Tests – (T4, FT4, TSH, Autoantibodies). The thyroid gland is like a thermometer that “sets” the metabolic rate of the entire body. Too little thyroid hormone (HYPOTHYROIDISM) is common in dogs and leads to sluggishness and weight gain. Too much thyroid hormone (HYPERTHOIDISM) causes hyperactivity and weight loss resulting in stress on the heart and other organs.
4. Urinalysis – (Chemical analysis, Sediment Examination). Urinalysis provides inflammation about the health of the kidneys and urinary system. It can also identify problems in other organs, and is most useful when combined with a biochemistry profile. Urine is tested for blood, sugar, protein and other components. The pH (acidity) and specific gravity (concentration) are also measured. Examination of urine sediment can detect infection, inflammation, crystals, or abnormal cells.
Wellness Testing is especially important for pets needing elective surgery. To ensure your pet can properly process and eliminate an anesthetic, we run Wellness tests to confirm that your pet’s organs are functioning properly and to find hidden health conditions that could put your pet at risk.
The top four reasons to test your pet before anesthesia:
1. Detect hidden illness – Healthy looking pets may be hiding symptoms of a disease or ailment. Testing helps detect this kind of illness so we can avoid problems with anesthesia
2. Reduce risks and consequences – If the Wellness testing results are normal, we can proceed with confidence. IF NOT, we can alter the anesthetic procedure or take other precautions to safeguard your pet’s health.
3. Enjoy peace of mind – Testing can significantly reduce medical risk
4. Protect your pet’s future health – These tests become part of your pet’s medical record, providing a baseline for future reference.
Help us keep your pet healthy with Wellness Testing
Call us if you have questions or need more complete information about your pet’s procedure, or you can ask our veterinarian to develop a Wellness Program that is best suited for the age, breed, and special needs of your pet.