The Whys and Wherefores of Diagnostics: Analyzing Healthy Pet Baseline Values

Posted by VitusVet on Apr 14, 2016 8:01:21 PM

Vitus_iStock_000076893431_Medium.jpgIt’s easy to appreciate that veterinary diagnostics can highlight the source of an ailment – and when revealed in time, treatments are more effective. From determining the cause of illness to ruling out certain diseases, testing illuminates what is truly going on with your pet. It makes sense to rely on testing for a sick pet, but why concede to certain tests when your pet is the embodiment of health?

It may seem counterintuitive to run tests for a healthy pet, but the truth is that diagnostics help your veterinarian gain enormous insight into your unique pet’s health trends. In fact, determining a healthy pet baseline, that is, establishing what is “normal”, may just save your pet’s life someday.

Important Comparisons

Preventative care largely contributes to your pet’s overall health and longevity. Vaccinations, parasite control, proper nutrition, exercise, and proactive dental care (to name a few) are all instrumental in this approach.

Preventative care is initiated and supported at your pet’s regular wellness visits, at which your veterinarian may suggest diagnostics leading up to a healthy pet baseline. Without these values, how can you really know what is normal for your fur friend?

Sickness Vs. Health

When an animal gets sick, it’s incredibly helpful to refer back to levels recorded during a healthy point in his or her medical history. A healthy pet baseline provides a detailed picture to apply in future instances of illness or health changes.

Healthy Pet Baseline

Below is a list of typical diagnostics that result in a healthy pet baseline:

  • Complete blood panel
  • Full chemistry panel
  • Electrolyte count
  • Urinalysis

As your pet ages, it’s critical to keep up with regular veterinary visits – and routine screenings. Diseases, such as diabetes, renal disease, heart disease, thyroid disorders, or even cancer, become more likely in senior pets, which is why two veterinary visits per year are often recommended for older pets.

Capturing Information

The value of diagnostics simply cannot be underestimated – especially when healthy values are captured. Sure, it can seem gratuitous, costly, or both, but consider:

  • Routine diagnostics can actually lead to catching a problem early, reducing the cost of emergency care or expensive treatments in the long run
  • Healthy pet baseline values can signal when treatments are required to eradicate illness or disease
  • By waiting to establish a healthy pet baseline, you are decreasing the options your pet may have to treat health problems
  • Diagnostics can lengthen your pet’s life

Without knowledge or an understanding of your pet’s normal levels, dental procedures under anesthesia or general surgery isn’t possible. Likewise, heartworm and other parasite testing diagnostics are vital to acquire prior to establishing parasite prevention.

Future Results

Somewhere down the line it’s likely that you’ll be glad your pet’s medical records supply your veterinarian with normal results. A healthy pet baseline, when compared to results from future tests, allow for subtle changes to be addressed. This insight may increase your pet’s chances for a positive outcome – and hopefully a longer life.

If you have any questions about how VitusVet can help in securing your pet’s baseline values and medical records, we invite you to reach out to us. We are always happy to help!

Topics: Pet Health