Lisa Chelenza knows that not everyone in your family walks on two legs. For helpful tips on taking care of your animal friends, and advice from local veterinary experts, watch Pet Pointers Wednesday and Saturday on TWC News. If you have ideas for Pet Pointers segments, email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October is National Pet Wellness Month and a good time to schedule an appointment with your vet for a wellness screening.
An annual wellness exam is a good habit to get into to keep your pet healthy. Having tests done when a pet is healthy and strong helps your vet get a baseline to compare to if your pet is ever sick.
It starts with a basic physical exam where your vet will check your pet’s pulse, look at their eyes and ears, listen to their lungs and assess their general condition.
Your vet may want to do a “CBC,” a complete blood count, to look for abnormalities that could indicate illness. For example, red blood cells that are very large could mean your pet is anemic or very small cells could indicate liver disease.
A parasite check is standard for a wellness exam and you may have to provide a stool sample.
A urinalysis is recommended for all senior pets especially cats. Your vet will check the color and chemically test the sample looking at several things including the Ph, glucose levels and protein.
Other common tests your vet may want to run include a thyroid panel, heartworm test or feline Leukemia test.
The cost for a wellness screening, depending on your vet and which tests are included, can start at around $200. Prevention is key to early detection and treatment of any serious health issue.