You have recieved a reminder that your pets blood test is due again! Pretty sure it was only recently the vet did one, wasnt it? My doctor doesnt even test me that often – in fact last time I was in there he didnt even examine me.
Actually I can, yes.
Reason #1 Language Barriers – I assume you talk to your pets – I certainly hold a conversation with mine. But – they dont talk human back. Honestly our pets DONT talk to us about the subtle things that arent right – thats why we use pathology tests so much more for animals.
Reason #2. Pets age faster than humans. Whilst we all “know” this fact, lets consider what it actually means. All living creatures tend to have a “use by” date and so as time goes by, cell and organ structures inevitably change. For pets, these changes typically happen at a more rapid rate than humans – and includes changes to organ function.
Reason #3 – Chronic Inflammation. Most medications that pets need, are given because of chronic inflammation. Inflammation itself is a cause of liver and kidney damage. All species (I have seen hundreds of bandicoots and kangaroos suffer organ damage and death due to dental disease, for example) have this link of chronic inflammation as cause of organ damage.
Reason #4 Liver and kidney are “cleaners”. They have the job of excreting unwanted wastes from body. That means they break down and eliminate the medications you give your pet. Liver and kidney function can only be reliably assessed via tests such as blood panel. Assuming all is well – comforting to know the medications are leaving the body normally. If there are liver/kidney changes – then medications or doses can be made safer and effective with thoughtful changes.
Reason #5 – Immediate Feedback. Technology advances in blood analyser machines mean that over 90% of the blood panels used for pets on medications, have answers back to you in 15 minutes. That means the same consultation your pet has physical examination, is where the results are discussed. Any changes that the blood panel or examination determines are required, can be immediately implemented without having to travel back to clinic for different medication or prescription.
Mythbuster – I have heard many times from pet owners they worry the medication is causing organ damage and that is what we are testing for. I need to assure you this is typically NOT true. Our blood test fetish is only there to prove health and guide medication use, dosing and organ function truths.
In veterinary medicine, current “standard of care” is considered to be physical examination and appropriate blood testing twice a year.