Tag Archive: labwork


Why Should I Come In For Yearly Exams if Everything is Ok?
By. Dr. Ben Davidson DSC_0963
We wish the only reason you needed to come in for your pet’s yearly exam was because you missed our smiling faces or dearly love our coffee and cookies,  but there’s actually several good medical reasons why we want to see you.
        A lot can happen in a year.  There are a lot of not-so-obvious diseases that are picked up on routine exams or lab screenings, and may not be noticeable or known to someone that doesn’t do this all the time.  Those routine screenings and lab tests, much like the ones we humans are all supposed to get, are the best chance at early detection of diseases, and in some cases make a huge Golden Retriever puppydifference in the prognosis and outcome.
      Most pets are actually due for treatments or vaccines yearly.  Many of our pet friends benefit from yearly teeth cleanings.  Dogs that visit dog parks should get a fecal test each year to detect parasites.  And some vaccines are labeled as being effective for one year, such as bordatella (kennel cough), feline leukemia, and, in some instances, rabies.
        The Board of Pharmacy mandates that to issue prescribed drugs, either here from our clinic or by written prescription, we must have a current exam on file within the last 12 months.     bandit
 We know everyone wants what’s best for their pet.  We know you all do everything you can for their happiness and health.  One of the biggest challenges we face is not being able to talk to them, or I guess, them not being able to talk to us.  You usually can tell if something is really wrong with your pet, but how can you tell if something is just a little off?  We all know, for ourselves, when something isn’t quite right, and which of those times we should go see our doctor.  But for our pets, it’s not so easy.  Yearly exams and routine lab work help us find problems earlier than we might have otherwise, and hopefully before something has advanced too far.

How Often Does My Pet Need Bloodwork Done?

Jackie Pulver,  DVM Dr. Jackie Pulver

 

As veterinarians, there are many times in a pet’s life that blood work is needed.  The first time blood work is usually performed on an animal is when they have their spay or neuter surgery.  We perform blood work at this time to make certain there are no underlying issues that may affect their ability to safely undergo anesthesia.

Golden Retriever puppyIf you pet becomes ill, many times we will advise you to check blood work.  This is to allow us to better find the underlying cause of the change in your pet. Many times the blood work will better allow us to direct treatment by identifying specific issues that need to be addressed either with medication, surgery, or supportive care.

If your pet has been diagnosed with a chronic illness, many times monitoring blood work will need to be performed.  Dogs diagnosed with diabetes, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, seizures, and hypothyroidism will need several visits that include blood work during the diagnosis of theses diseases and in starting them on the appropriate medications. Once these pets are on appropriate doses of their medications, they will only need blood work a few times a year to make sure they continue to be well regulated.  Your vet will let you know the best schedule for your pet. Cats diagnosed with diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease will need several initial visits 99059361-choose-cat-litter-632x475during the diagnosis and starting of their medications.  Once stabilized on their specific medications and treatments,  blood work will only need to be performed a few times yearly for monitoring.  Your vet will let you know the schedule that is best for your pet.

Healthy adult dogs and cats need and annual exam by their vet.  At that time, a physical exam and history of events from the past year will be obtained.  After discussing the physical exam findings with you, your vet will determine if your pet will need any blood work to further monitor their well-being.

foster-cat-and-dogGeriatric pets should have a biannual exam, and they should have blood work performed annually or biannually. This is allowing us to stay abreast of changes in our aging pets, and give appropriate treatments to maintain their comfort in the golden years. Many of our older patients are also on chronic NSAIDS for arthritis, and they need biannual blood work to monitor the kidney and liver function.

Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Hypothyroidism in Dogs

By: Dr. Michelle Nguyen Dr. Nguyen


Is your dog overweight? Is your dog not as active as he/she used to be?  Does your dog have skin issues as well (i.e. thinning hair, hair loss, recurrent ear infections, greasy hair coat, etc)?  If any of these clinical signs fit your dog, a veterinary exam and a routine blood panel may provide some answers for you.
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These clinical signs may be consistent with a syndrome called hypothyroidism. This disorder usually occurs in middle-aged dogs between the ages of 2 and 9, and both males and females are equally affected.  Hypothyroidism most commonly occurs due to the disruption or atrophy of the thyroid glands. Fortunately with treatment, long-term prognosis is excellent.

The mainstay of treatment is oral thyroid hormone replacement. Your dog will be on a twice daily oral medication life-long. Luckily, most dogs do very well with oral medications, especially if hidden in pill pockets! The initial diagnosis of hypothyroidism along with fine-tuning the medication dosage will 

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require two to three blood panels.  However once the correct dose of medication is achieved, your pet will only need annual blood work to make sure the thyroid level is within the therapeutic range.

If you think these clinical symptoms fit your dog, we would love to see him/her for a comprehensive nose-to-tail physical exam and possibly blood work. Give us a call at (775) 358-6880.