When you take your pet to the veterinarian, whether it’s for a wellness check-up, or to diagnose or treat an issue, your veterinarian may suggest certain tests or procedures to ensure your pet is in optimal health. This type of testing is called Preventative Testing.
Preventative testing helps to establish a baseline for your pet, which can be compared to future tests for changes. It also helps you catch issues earlier, before they become full-blown problems or even emergencies, helping your pet live a longer, healthier, more trouble-free life. When these tests are done at the point of care, you’re able to get those results quickly.
What is preventative testing?
Preventative or diagnostic testing is run and analysed at your pet’s veterinary clinic. This type of testing typically provides results more quickly than typical lab results, so you can get an answer or diagnosis and decide the next steps (additional testing, admission to the clinic, or a referral for additional care or treatment) sooner.
Research shows that diseases and underlying issues can be detected earlier by monitoring your pet’s trends through regular preventative testing. Preventative lab testing is sometimes the only way to identify health issues before they become something serious.
Common preventative tests for pets
What types of tests your veterinarian may recommend for your pet depends on their breed, age, and lifestyle. Some of the most common preventative, diagnostic, or monitoring tests that can be run and analysed in-clinic through preventative testing include:
- Chemistry blood tests
These tests can provide indicators of the health and function of your pet’s pancreas, liver, kidney, intestine, thyroid, and many of their other organs and body systems.
- Haematology tests
The most common haematology test is the Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC), which looks at red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It can help the veterinary team detect conditions like anaemia and leukaemia, and can detect inflammation, blood clotting concerns, and possible infections.
- Urine tests
Urine tests, which may be performed alongside chemistry blood testing, look for the presence of blood, protein, glucose, or other abnormalities in the urine. This tells the vet team not just how well your pet’s kidneys are working, but also provides insight into other areas such as bacteria in the urine (which could mean a urinary tract infection).
Benefits of point-of-care testing
- Your pet’s test results are available relatively quickly.
- You get peace of mind that any unseen disease will be caught earlier.
- Detecting disease early often means it can get under control faster and lessen the discomfort for your pet.
- When the disease is detected early, it often improves the cost you’ll have to spend to get the condition under control and maintain it over time.
- It’s easier for your veterinary team to recognise possible diseases and other impending problems in the future, should something come up.
- When a problem arises, proactive testing can be used to monitor the condition and your pet’s wellbeing.
- Zoetis Technical Bulletin June 2014, Lavan, Robert et al. Pet Wellness Report: Feline Health Risk Assessment.
- Zoetis New Zealand Limited. Tel: 0800 963 847; www.zoetis.co.nz. VETSCAN is a registered trademark of Zoetis. g.