Diagnostic testing is an important part of your pet's annual exam. Veterinarians want to do everything possible to help your pet live a long, healthy life, and one way we do that is through diagnostic testing. Here are three of our primary exams and what we are looking for:
1) Heartworm Testing
According to the American Heartworm Society, all dogs should be tested annually for heartworm disease. We do this by taking a small sample of your dog’s blood and testing it for heartworms along with 3 other tick-borne diseases. Heartworms are transmitted to your dog and cat by infected mosquitoes. It’s recommended that both dogs and cats stay on heartworm preventative year-round. Even pets that don’t frequent the outdoors are susceptible to this deadly disease.
2) Fecal Testing
Fecal Testing: Nothing is more gross then knowing your pet has intestinal parasites. Most intestinal parasites are zoonotic, meaning they can be spread to us. Each year, during your pet's annual exam, we check your pet's stool for these pesky bugs. Sometimes our pets will exhibit symptoms such as diarrhea, but more often than not, you may not notice your pet is infected.
Even indoor cats are at risk, which is why we recommend bringing a fresh stool sample from your cat's litter box. Transmission is possible through infected soil, earthworms, mice or other rodents and possibly other invertebrate paratenic hosts such as crickets.
3) Wellness Bloodwork
Wellness Bloodwork: Starting at age 3, we ask you at each annual visit if you would like wellness bloodwork done on your pet. Many conditions are asymptomatic until your pet becomes very sick. These blood tests check red and white blood cell counts, as well as checking vital organ functions such as kidneys and liver. For older pets, those over 7, we also check a urinalysis and thyroid function for potential abnormalities.
Testing and bloodwork is an important part your pet’s life and wellness. If you would like more information on pet wellness in the Asheville area, schedule and appointment, or visit Avery Creek Pet Hospital.