Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wellness screening important to your pet's health

Clarion Ledger

by Dr. Mark Russak

Heartworm blood test? Urinalysis? Total blood panel? If you're like most pet owners, you have at one time or another wondered what all these tests mean and, more to the point, are they really necessary?

The short answer is yes, but it is always good to ask.

Veterinarians use lab tests to monitor your pet's health, diagnose a disease or condition, and/or measure the effects of a medication or treatment plan. In some cases, pets must be tested before they can receive necessary treatments. For example, the American Heartworm Society recommends testing pets for heartworms before starting preventive heartworm medications and annually thereafter.