At Monroe Road Animal Hospital we support the practice of preventative medicine. As part of this philosophy we recommend annual lab work for all patients. This lab work provides an important baseline for organ system function in the event or illness. Knowing that normal function in various organ systems exists can be very useful in the event of a problem or illness. This information allows us to determine with a better degree of accuracy how long a patient has been ill and which organ systems are involved.
As an example, a cat that presents with signs of kidney disease may have had sub clinical or silent disease for an extended period. Knowing when the organ systems were last functioning appropriately is very important information. This assists the doctor in determining whether the disease is acute (rapid onset) or chronic (long term). This information is used to both determine a prognosis and recommend a treatment regime.
We believe that annual lab work is extremely important in companion animals because they often cannot communicate the subtle signs of their illness to their owners. Often, low grade nausea or low appetite goes unnoticed by the owner until more overt signs such as weight loss occurs. Many times the disease or illness is well advanced by the time the pet is presented for evaluation and treatment by the veterinarian. Treatment options may be reduced or eliminated by this time.
Knowledge is a powerful and important tool in providing the very best health care for pets of all ages. Therefore, we offer and recommend annual lab screening in the form of a complete blood count and chemistry panel to our patients. Patients over the age of five years should also have the thyroid gland evaluated.
Information gathered from the annual health screen:
- Red blood cell count
- White blood cell count
- Pancreatic function
- Platelet number
- Electrolyte balance
- Kidney function
- Thyroid function
- Liver function
- Blood protein