If you are a pet parent you undoubtedly want your adorable furbaby to enjoy a long, happy and active life with you and your family. To be able to do this, your pet needs your support. You are in charge of her nutrition, of making sure that she gets enough physical and mental stimulation and of keeping her as healthy as possible.
Any conscientious pet owner will register their furriest family member with a reputable veterinarian as soon as they are settled into their new home. However, many inexperienced pet parents are surprised to learn that veterinary care services offer a lot more than just treating your animal should she become unwell. In fact, many vets offer a variety of services that can actually help maintain your pet’s health and prevent her from suffering from illness and disease at all. This is often known as preventative veterinary wellness care.
What is preventative veterinary wellness care?
Preventative veterinary wellness care refers to a series of tests that are used to monitor the health and wellbeing of your pet. They often go by many other names including wellness testing, annual examinations and even early disease detection.
The exact tests which are offered can vary between veterinary practises, but typically include:
Most vets request two types of blood panel be performed. One is a complete blood count which looks at the levels of red and white cells present in your pet’s blood. Too many white cells mean that her immune system is over-active, probably because it is already fighting an infection or illness, whereas too few red cells would indicate your pet is anemic.
The other type of blood test is known as a chemistry profile and this is designed to check the levels of the many chemical substances in the blood that are either released by her body or produced during the breakdown of certain substances. A blood chemistry profile can give our veterinary team valuable information about how well your pet’s organs are functioning and will enable identification of any health problems.
Parasites are an extremely common part of pet ownership, but these microorganisms can make your furbaby very unwell. Internal parasites such as hookworms and roundworms are very difficult to spot since they live inside your pet and may only be apparent if they are passed out in her stools. For this screening, parasite screening is usually included in wellness care packages and includes both fecal testing and, in the case of detecting heartworms, a blood test.
If your pet has wellness care our vet will almost certainly ask for you to provide a sample of her urine. This is because a urine test can reveal information about hydration levels, kidney function and electrolyte balance among other things.
A nose to tail physical examination is the perfect opportunity for our veterinarian to assess your pet for any abnormalities on her body. This could include things like bumps or swellings, skin problems or issues with her eyes, ears or pads of her paws. Our vet will also weigh your pet to ensure she is within the healthy range.
Why is preventative veterinary wellness care so important?
You have probably heard the phrase, ‘prevention is better than cure’. Well, that is certainly the case when it comes to anything medical, including your pet’s veterinary care. Illnesses and diseases are almost always much easier to treat when they are identified in the early stages and before they have had chance to wreak havoc on your beloved creature’s body.
Preventative care enables our vet at Betty Baugh's Animal Clinic to closely track the results of each test and spot any patterns that may indicate that a health problem is developing. At this stage, the issue may even be reversible with the right changes to your pet’s nutrition or lifestyle. If illness has developed, prompt treatment means less suffering for your furbaby and a better chance at making a complete recovery.
If you would like to know more about preventative veterinary wellness care, our dedicated team of veterinary experts would be happy to assist you. Please contact our vets in Richmond, VA today to schedule your appointment for Early Disease Detection Testing.