Blood tests are useful in finding out important information about our health that might not be apparent during a regular checkup. They help identify, detect, and address health issues early, allowing us and our pets to take proactive measures for a better quality of life.
Contrary to what many think, regular blood tests are crucial for both healthy and sick pets. Conducting blood work on your pet when they are young and in good health provides your veterinarian with a dependable baseline. This baseline becomes valuable for comparison as your pet ages or faces health challenges.
Regular blood tests enable veterinarians to identify potential diseases at an early stage, preventing them from worsening. Early detection often allows for manageable treatments like medications and dietary adjustments for most pet illnesses.
Getting your pet ready for their blood test appointment ensures accurate advice and diagnoses from your Woodlands Vet Center, saving both time and money by avoiding inaccurate readings and the need for test repetitions. Here are four ways to be well-prepared for your pet’s blood test appointment.
- Inquire with Your Vet for Any Special Instructions Ahead of Your Appointment
Before your appointment, it’s advisable to consult your vet for any essential information. Find out if your pet needs to fast and for how long, inquire about additional tests or concurrent lab work, and confirm whether you should bring any paperwork or samples (such as fecal or urine) with you to the appointment.
Feel free to communicate any particular concerns you might have about the procedure or your pet’s present health and history with your veterinarian. Having these discussions in advance will inform your veterinarian about specific blood markers to focus on more closely.
- Initiate a Mild Fasting Period for Your Pet
Similar to how you fast before getting routine or specialized blood tests, your pet should also undergo a fasting period. This helps prevent contaminants from food and digestion byproducts from affecting the accuracy of the blood test results.
For example, dogs may experience a significant increase in lipid levels in their bloodstream shortly after eating. This condition, referred to as lipemia, can disrupt blood test results and impact the precision of your veterinarian’s diagnosis. It’s crucial to note that serious illnesses like diabetes, pancreatitis, Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, and kidney disorders can also contribute to elevated lipid levels.
Lipid levels typically take 6-12 hours to decrease in the bloodstream. Your veterinarian may advise fasting your pet for at least 6 hours before the scheduled blood draw. Consider scheduling the appointment within a 6-hour window around your pet’s usual feeding time for optimal results.
At times, veterinarians might request either an extended or reduced fasting duration, or limit your pet’s water intake. Such adjustments are typically based on your pet’s health condition or the complexity of the specific blood test being conducted.
- Ensure Your Pet Stays Well-Hydrated
Maintaining your pet’s hydration is crucial, especially in warmer months. Similar to humans, pets can experience severe dehydration when lacking sufficient water and electrolytes. Cats and dogs lose water through breathing, panting, waste elimination, and sweating through their paws. Conditions such as overheating, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, injuries, and other illnesses can further contribute to water loss.
For precise blood test results, ensure your pet has access to clean drinking water. Similar to food, the intake of water can impact the reliability of your pet’s blood test outcomes. Even minor dehydration can significantly alter the results. Inform your veterinarian of any changes in your pet’s drinking habits, such as increased or decreased water consumption.
- Ensure Your Pets Are Well-Rested and Relaxed
As much as you may want to engage with your beloved pet, it’s crucial to maintain a relaxed, well-rested, and calm environment. Similar to eating, physical activity can influence your pet’s blood test results, so it’s advisable to refrain from vigorous play before the appointment.
If your pet tends to feel scared, anxious, or excited during visits to the vet, encounters with other dogs, or in unfamiliar settings, consider choosing a less busy appointment time to minimize crowds. For drive-thru appointments where you can’t be present to comfort your pet due to Covid-19 restrictions, bring along a familiar item like their favorite blanket or toy to provide comfort.
Remember that while blood tests contribute to your veterinarian’s understanding of your pet’s health, a comprehensive physical examination and the information you share about your pet’s history are essential for a complete picture. Additionally, be aware that veterinarians may suggest more extensive diagnostic testing in the face of significant changes in routine blood test results, concerning trends, or the discovery of evidence pointing to a severe illness.
Prevent Diseases and get early treatment with our best Woodlands Vet Center
Protect your pet and your budget with best Woodlands Vet Centre. Adopt a proactive and preventive approach to your pet’s health. Contact 242 Animal Hospital now at (346) 706-5448 to inquire about routine blood testing for your pet, or click here to schedule an appointment.