Senior Wellness and Understanding Diagnostics as part of the Wellness Exam

September is Senior Wellness Month!

During the months of September and October, at Bearss Animal Clinic in Tampa, FL, we will be celebrating Senior Wellness Month.   Dr. Flores recommends that any patient that is seven years of age or older be scheduled for a wellness exam including diagnostics.  There are five basic tests that will help Dr. Flores or your veterinarian to evaluate wellness.  Each one of the tests will provide Dr. Flores, at Bearss Animal Clinic in Tampa, FL; a wealth of information concerning the true health of your pet.

 1.       COMPLETE BLOOD COUNT (CBC)

The CBC tests for anemia, infection, inflammation and overall healthiness of the blood cells. It also evaluates the number and type of cells in circulation.  White Blood Cells (WBC’s), help fight infection or inflammation. Red Blood Cells (RBC’s), carry oxygen to the tissues.

  2.   CHEMISTRY TESTS

  • Liver (AST, ALT, Alk. Phos., T.Bilirubin, GGT, Cholesterol, Proteins)

This group of tests help evaluate various functions and health of the liver. Decreased liver function, inflammation, infection and neoplasia (abnormal growth of cells) of the liver and gall bladder may be detected by one of these tests.

  •  Kidney (BUN, creatinine, Phosphorus, Amylase, Albumin, Globulin)

These tests monitor the function and health of the kidneys. They are most helpful and sensitive fir detecting kidney disease when combines with a urinalysis.

  • Pancreas (Glucose, Amylase, Lipase, Triglyceride)

These tests are abnormal when there is something wrong with the pancreas or carbohydrate metabolism (examples are diabetes mellitus and pancreatitis).

  • Muscle  and Bone

      -Calcium and Phosphorus are helpful in determining the health of bone metabolism.

      -CPK and AST are abnormal with muscle damage, trauma or inflammation.

     - Electrolytes (Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorus).

These are important in monitoring the electrical, water balance and cellular health of the body. Deficiencies or excess of these electrolytes are harmful to the animal’s physical and mental well-being.

3.       THYROID FUNCTION TESTS

As the name implies, these tests ate grateful in diagnosing malfunctions of the thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism (too little thyroid hormone) is common in dogs; whereas hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) is common in older cats. Because there is no single thyroid test that can diagnose all thyroid diseases in animals, a panel of several different thyroid tests are used to ensure proper diagnosis.

         4.       URINALYSIS

This assesses the health and function of the urinary system. It is especially important in older animals to help in early detection of kidney disease. While some serum chemistries help evaluate kidney function (BUN, Creatinine, etc.), much more information is obtained when a urinalysis is done at the same time. The urine sample is tested for several chemical components (glucose, protein, blood and more), as well as any cells (WBC, RBC, epithelial, etc.) and crystals.

         5.       PARASITE EXAMS

-          Fecal

A sample of stool is examined to look for hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, coccidian, Giardia and other intestinal parasites.

-          Blood

Serum is tested for the presence of heartworm on an annual basis. Whole blood can also be examined in anemic animals for other parasites, such as Babesia, Hemobartonella, or Cytauxzoon.

 

 Discover a longer, healthier life for your pet. Call your Tampa Vet, Dr. Flores at Bearss Animal Clinic (813-961-1222) to schedule an appointment today.

 

Article curtesy of  Antech Diagnostics & Bearss Animal Clinic, Tampa, FL

 

 

 

 

 

 

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