After so many years by our side, we tend to come to a special understanding with our pets. Many of you would say that you know what your dog wants by a certain tone of bark, or that your cat can tell you exactly when dinner time is without needing a clock, but do you know what they’re trying to tell you about their health?
Why are they drinking more than they used to? Why are they losing weight, despite eating the same amount of food (or sometimes more)? Is it normal to be this lethargic as they get older? Why are they vomiting more frequently? Why is their coat different?
They may not be able to tell you directly, but they can tell us a lot of information with a physical exam and blood test. Looking for these conditions before our pets are sick means we can do more to prevent clinical illness and help them live happier, longer lives. The parameters we routinely test on blood include:
- Blood glucose, as an indicator for diabetes mellitus.
- Urea, Creatinine and Phosphorus as an indication of kidney function.
- Various liver enzymes and Bilirubin related to liver function and some hormonal conditions, eg Cushings Syndrome.
- Cholesterol, Calcium and other electrolytes as they relate to a number of conditions
- Haematology, including red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets as they may relate to anaemia, infection, inflammation, immune mediated conditions or even certain types of cancers.
Many of these conditions will only have subtle outwards signs until the pet is quite sick. Also, most pets will enjoy a better quality of life if these conditions are detected early, some may even avoid a stay in hospital if their medical conditions are detected early enough.
Talk to one of our staff about running a blood profile for a senior pet before they show outward signs of disease, and how early detection can help improve their quality of life.