Your Veterinarian may advise lab work for a number of reasons. There are various types of blood tests and they all vary in complexity, turn around time, and variety of organs or cells evaluated. Let’s take a look at each of these tests a little more closely to see why your vet may request these tests.
Your veterinarian may advise lab work for a number of reasons — Wellness Blood Screens, Heartworm Tests, Preanesthetic Blood Ccreens, Therapeutic (Routine) Drug Monitoring, or Illness Investigation. All of these panels vary in complexity, turn around time (time from submission until results are available), and variety of organs or cells evaluated. Let’s take a look at each of these tests a little more closely:
- Wellness Blood Work is offered to healthy patients who are presenting for annual visits. They are used as baseline information to compare against if the patient becomes sick and also for early disease detection. This lab work is generally optional: I have pet parents who run this lab work yearly, others who elect to submit this every other year, and others who never run it. While it is completely up to you if you want to invest in this information, it is excellent information to have if your pet becomes ill.
- Heart Worm Tests are also advised yearly (or every 6 months if you have missed doses of heart worm prevention or do not give prevention) this test is highly recommended even if you are religious about monthly parasite prevention. It may also be recommended if you are changing heart worm prevention products even if you haven’t missed doses to ensure that your pet is negative prior to starting a new prevention. This establishes a timeline if your pet is positive in the future.