Diagnostic Screening: Why do we recommend screening lab tests and imaging on our healthy senior pets?
By testing our patients while they are free of disease, we are able to establish a baseline of data for an animal that gives us an idea of what “normal” may be for a given individual. We can then use this baseline to compare to in the coming years whenever further testing is done.
Early testing also promotes early detection of abnormalities in the body systems that may not yet be causing outward signs of sickness in your pet. When we are able to detect a problem early on, this is our best chance at either fixing the problem completely or at least being able to implement medical care that can greatly enhance quality of life and often increase longevity.
Please keep in mind that some disease conditions can start and progress rapidly, meaning that we see outward signs of sickness before there are any abnormal findings on lab tests. This is why our approach to early disease detection involves screening lab tests AND in depth questions about how your pet is doing at home. We also rely on our pet owners to carefully monitor their aging pet at home for any changes. Please see the sectionRed Flags: What signs should I be concerned about in my aging pet?