Annual Wellness Screening for Dogs and Cats

Wellness veterinary testing for dogs and cats typically includes a combination of physical exams, vaccinations, and various diagnostic tests. These preventive measures are essential to monitor and maintain the health of your pets.  It’s important to consult your veterinarian about the specific wellness testing and vaccinations appropriate for your individual pet based on their age, health status, lifestyle, and breed-related risks. Regular check-ups and preventive care play a vital role in ensuring your pets lead healthy and happy lives.

Here’s a list of common wellness veterinary tests for dogs and cats, along with their indications:

  1. Physical Examinations – Indications: Regular physical exams are essential for detecting any changes in your pet’s health, identifying early signs of illness, and assessing overall well-being.
  2. Vaccinations – Indications: Vaccinations help protect pets from various infectious diseases. The specific vaccines required may vary depending on factors such as species, age, lifestyle, and geographic location.
  3. Blood Tests – Indications: Blood tests, such as complete blood count (CBC) and serum biochemistry, can provide valuable information about your pet’s organ function, detect underlying health issues, and monitor ongoing conditions.
  4. Cardiac (Heart) Evaluation – Indications: Cardiac testing, including listening to the heart, heart stretch testing, heart muscle inflammation testing, and possibly electrocardiograms (ECG), is crucial for detecting heart problems, especially in senior pets or those with breed-specific predispositions.
  5. Blood Pressure Measurement – Indications: Monitoring blood pressure is important for pets at risk of hypertension, such as older cats and dogs with kidney or heart disease.
  6. Urinalysis – Indications: Urinalysis helps assess kidney function, detect urinary tract infections, and identify other potential health concerns.
  7. Stool Testing – Indications: Stool examinations are performed to detect parasites and assess gastrointestinal health in pets.

Canine breed predispositions for different diseases are a result of genetic factors. Some breeds have a higher likelihood of developing certain health conditions, although it’s essential to remember that not all individuals of a breed will necessarily have these conditions. Here are some examples of breed-specific health predispositions:

  1. Hip Dysplasia – Breeds: German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Bulldogs. Indications: Regular hip evaluations and X-rays are recommended for susceptible breeds to detect hip dysplasia, a condition where the hip joint does not develop properly and can lead to arthritis and mobility issues.
  2. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome – Breeds: Bulldogs, Pugs, Shih Tzus, Boxers. Indications: These breeds may experience breathing difficulties due to their short noses and flat faces, making it essential to monitor their respiratory health.
  3. Heart Disease – Breeds: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Doberman Pinschers, Boxers. Indications: Regular cardiac evaluations, including listening to the heart and potential echocardiograms, are essential for detecting and managing heart conditions.
  4. Dental Issues – Breeds: Toy breeds, such as Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers. Indications: Small dog breeds are prone to dental problems, making regular dental check-ups and cleanings crucial.
  5. Urinary Stones – Breeds: Dalmatians, Bulldogs, Miniature Schnauzers. Indications: These breeds are predisposed to developing urinary stones, requiring regular monitoring and preventive measures.

Purebred cats are also prone to certain breed-specific health conditions due to genetic factors. Here are some examples of breed predispositions for different disease conditions in purebred cats:

  1. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) – Breeds: Persian, Exotic Shorthair, British Shorthair. Indications: PKD is a genetic condition in which cysts develop in the kidneys, leading to kidney failure. Regular screening and genetic testing are recommended for susceptible breeds.
  2. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) – Breeds: Maine Coon, Ragdoll, British Shorthair, Sphynx. Indications: HCM is a common heart condition in cats, and certain purebred cats are more susceptible. Regular cardiac evaluations and screenings are essential to detect and manage this condition.
  3. Gangliosidosis – Breeds: Siamese, Burmese, Korat. Indications: Gangliosidosis is a rare genetic disorder that affects the nervous system. Genetic testing can be performed to identify carriers and prevent breeding affected kittens.
  4. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – Breeds: Abyssinian, Somali, Persian, Bengal. Indications: PRA is an inherited eye disease that can lead to vision loss and blindness. Regular ophthalmic examinations and genetic testing are recommended for at-risk breeds.
  5. Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) – Breeds: Ragdoll, Maine Coon, British Shorthair, Sphynx, Bengal. Indications: Regular cardiac evaluations and screenings are essential to detect and manage this heart condition, which is prevalent in certain purebred cats.
  6. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) – Breeds: Burmese. Indications: Burmese cats are predisposed to FLUTD, which includes conditions like feline idiopathic cystitis and urinary stones. Regular monitoring and preventive measures are crucial.
  7. Polycystic Liver Disease (PLD) – Breeds: Persian, Exotic Shorthair. Indications: PLD is a genetic disorder that leads to the development of cysts in the liver. Regular screenings and genetic testing can help detect and manage the condition.

It’s essential to be aware of these breed predispositions when selecting a purebred cat and to discuss preventive measures with your veterinarian to ensure your feline companion receives appropriate care and monitoring. Regular wellness exams and genetic testing, where applicable, can help identify potential health issues early on and improve the overall quality of life for your pet.