As humans we understand that prompt treatment and diagnosis can be essential when it comes to our health. Extending the same courtesy to our pets can make a big difference when it comes to their health, happiness and life expectancy. Unfortunately, recognizing that our pets are unwell isn’t as easy as we would like. Animals naturally try to hide any sign of weakness or vulnerability, and this includes illness. Often, by the time our pets are unable to hide symptoms any longer, the underlying disease or medical condition has advanced beyond the earliest stages. However, early detection testing programs offered by veterinarians across the country can be instrumental in identifying potential health problems before they have chance to cause considerable harm to your pet.
The importance of early disease detection
There are several reasons why early disease detection is hugely beneficial to your pet. No one wants to see their pet suffer unnecessarily, and early disease detection can prevent this from happening. The symptoms associated with many diseases and conditions almost always worsen as the illness progresses, and this means that pain and debilitating effects will become more severe too.
Early identification of illness also enables your veterinarian to get your pet started on the most suitable course of treatment as quickly as possible. Not only will this help get her symptoms under control, but it can also prevent the progression of the disease and damage to your pet’s body. Animals who are diagnosed and treated sooner, virtually always have a much better prognosis for recovery.
Some owners consider early detection testing an unnecessary expense. However, from a financial point of view, investing in an early detection program can actually help save you money in the long run. Medical conditions can be very expensive to treat, and the more severe and advanced they become, generally the more care is required. This means that, like human illness, the worse the illness gets the more expensive the bills become. However, by detecting disease early, you could prevent the need for your pet to have extensive, expensive treatments.
What is included in early detection testing?
Early detection testing packages tend to vary between veterinary practices. However, some or all of the following services are often included:
- Top to tail physical examination. This will enable your vet to check for any external abnormalities.
- A complete blood count. This blood test will tell your vet how many red and white blood cells your pet has, and whether their numbers suggest any underlying health problems.
- A blood chemistry test. This looks at the balance of chemicals in your pet’s blood to determine if her organs are functioning as they should.
- Thyroid testing. Older animals tend to suffer from diminishing thyroid function.
- Urinalysis. This is a check of your pet’s urine which can give your vet valuable information about your pet’s health.
- Fecal analysis. This will help your vet diagnose a number of problems including parasite infections.
- Blood pressure monitoring.
- Heartworm testing.
If the results of the early detection testing that your pet has do not flag any abnormalities or concerns, your vet will record and file them away. However, they will be used for comparison with new testing at your pets next routine wellness appointment. By running side by side comparisons of new and old tests, your veterinarian will be able to see if any unfavorable patterns are emerging that may suggest an illness is developing. If this is the case, further investigations can be conducted immediately, and any disease could be either prevented or treated as needed.
If you would like more information about the importance of early detection testing, or your pet has not had a wellness examination before and you would like to get one booked, please don’t wait to contact our friendly and helpful vets in Gainesville, FL who will be happy to assist you.