When Should You Take Your Pet for Veterinary Lab Tests? Key Signs to Look For

Caring for your pet’s health is a top priority for every devoted pet owner. Regular veterinary care is essential, but knowing when to take your pet for specific lab tests can sometimes be challenging.

In this article, we will cover key signs to look for at different stages of your pet’s life and help you understand the importance of various veterinary lab tests to ensure your pet stays happy and healthy.

Key Signs to Look for in Puppies

Nothing compares to the joy of bringing a new puppy home, but it’s essential to prioritize their health from day one. Your vet will perform a physical examination at the initial veterinary visit to establish a healthy baseline. They’ll check everything from your puppy’s nose to tail, assessing their overall body condition, heart, lungs, ears, eyes, teeth, and more.

During the first few visits, a fecal test will be conducted to detect and treat intestinal parasites. Sometimes, parasites can be transmitted through the mother’s milk. Your vet will also recommend a heartworm test if your puppy is older than six months. Heartworm can be transmitted through a mosquito bite and can cause severe damage to your pet’s heart and lungs if left untreated.

Veterinary Surgery for Puppies

Some surgical procedures, like spaying or neutering, require an evaluation before the surgery. Your vet will run blood tests to check for anemia, white blood cell count, and normal kidney and liver function. This ensures your pet can undergo general anesthesia as safely as possible. Some specialized clinics, such as Inland Valley Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Center, can provide these surgeries to ensure your puppy gets the best care possible.

Key Signs to Look for in Adult Dogs

Annual wellness visits are essential for adult dogs to monitor any changes in their health. A physical examination will be performed during these visits, along with fecal tests, heartworm and tick-borne disease tests, and blood tests. These tests help establish a baseline for your dog’s normalcy and identify any potential health issues.

Urinalysis is another vital test for adult dogs, helping detect urinary tract infections, kidney diseases, and potential stones. Recognizing abnormal signs and symptoms in adult dogs can help you determine when to visit the vet for additional tests.

Veterinary Laboratory for Adult Dogs

There are various tests that your veterinarian may recommend for your adult dog based on their health needs. Consider choosing a reputable veterinary diagnostic lab in Upland to get accurate and reliable results. Places like this can provide precise information about your pet’s health and help detect any underlying issues early.

Key Signs to Look for in Senior Dogs

As your dog ages, it becomes increasingly important to monitor their health closely. Bi-yearly veterinary visits are recommended for senior dogs. During these visits, your vet will perform a physical examination, complete blood count and chemistry profile tests, and urinalysis to assess organ function and identify any negative side effects of medications.

Monitoring your senior dog’s blood pressure can help detect hypertension, which may affect their heart, kidneys, eyes, and nervous system. It is also essential to perform yearly intestinal parasite exams and heartworm tests, depending on your pet’s likelihood of exposure.

Veterinary Radiology for Senior Dogs

As your dog ages, veterinary radiology may be crucial in identifying and diagnosing health issues. Chest radiographs, for example, can assess your dog’s lung and cardiac health before undergoing anesthesia for a dental cleaning. For more information on veterinary radiology and specialized tests, you may visit their site or consult your vet about the best options for your senior pet.

Communicating With Your Veterinarian About Your Pet’s Health

Always discuss any unusual or concerning signs with your veterinarian and ask them to thoroughly explain the recommended tests and the rationale behind them. You are your pet’s advocate, so you must understand the options that will best keep your pet healthy and happy throughout their life.

The Bottomline

Staying informed about the key signs to look for in your pet’s health and understanding the importance of various veterinary lab tests is crucial for responsible pet ownership. Regular check-ups and monitoring of your pet’s health can lead to early detection and treatment of potential issues, ensuring a happy and healthy life for your beloved pet.