July’s topic of the month is Junior Wellness! Shiloh Veterinary Hospital offers a Junior Wellness Special for dogs and cats under 7 years old. Wellness exams are important for your veterinarian to get to know your companion and set baselines for the future to keep tabs on important vital signs.
Our Junior Wellness Specials are comprised of four parts.
1. CBC – Complete Blood Count
A CBC gives details on white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. White blood cells help fight infection, so it is important to know the count of the cells which will affect your companion’s ability to fight inflammation and infection. Red blood cells are evaluated in size, shape, and number to determine cell volume and indicated any deficiencies such as anemia. Platelets are what helps the blood clot, so it’s important to ensure these numbers are normal.
2. Serum Chemistry
A chemistry panel will give us information on how organs are functioning and blood sugar, electrolyte, and thyroid levels. There are 10 different tests we run on a chemistry panel.
- ALT, ALP, AST, GGT: Liver enzyme tests indicate if there may be a problem with the liver. They may also be abnormal with inflammation of the pancreas.
- Total bilirubin: This value is a test for jaundice. Increased levels usually indicate a liver disorder (with or without concurrent disease of the pancreas) or damaged red blood cells.
- Total protein, albumin, globulin: Albumin and globulin make up the body’s total protein. Albumin may be decreased with disorders of the intestine, kidneys, liver, or decreased nutrient intake. The globulin level may also decrease due to intestinal disease and may increase in response to inflammation.
- BUN, creatinine, phosphorous: These are tests of kidney function and should be run in conjunction with a urinalysis for the most accurate assessment of kidney function.
- Calcium: Elevated calcium levels can be a sign of a wide variety of disease. The most common cause is lymphosarcoma (a type of cancer).
- Glucose: An increased glucose, or blood sugar, may indicate diabetes. In cats, elevations may occur in conjunction with stress. A subnormal level may occur with several disorders, including liver problems, severe infection, certain types of cancer, Addison’s disease (a disorder of the adrenal glands), and malnutrition.
- Lipase and amylase: These are values that can test for inflammation of the pancreas.
- Sodium, potassium, chloride: These are important body electrolytes. It is especially important that potassium levels be monitored in sick animals and in animals with decreased kidney function or adrenal disease.
- CPK: This tests levels of muscle enzymes. Increased levels indicate muscle injury or inflammation.
- T4: This is a thyroid screening test. If the result is abnormal, more detailed thyroid testing may be necessary to determine the best course of treatment.
The heartworm test is important so that either treatment or prevention can begin. We will prescribe a heartworm preventative to protect against heartworms and other intestinal parasites.
Fecal tests are done to check for intestinal parasites. It is important to check periodically for parasites (once to twice a year depending on the animal’s environment) even if stools are consistently normal. Parasites can cause significant intestinal problems in both animals and humans. Specific treatment is prescribed based on results. Many internal parasites can be passed to humans, most commonly children.
Please contact Shiloh Veterinary Hospital today to schedule your companion’s Junior Wellness Special!