Are you adopting a new pet? These are the four tests you should be getting done as part of comprehensive pet wellness plans.
Pet wellness protection, including routine tests, is always the best way to prevent major issues later on when it comes to our beloved furry friends. Veterinarian-performed tests are a key part of wellness protection and are part of many insurance and wellness plans, including our pet wellness plans at Wagmo.
It's a good idea to get as many tests as possible annually to help cover as many potential issues. However, pet wellness plans can be overwhelming for any new pet owner. Understanding which routine pet tests to focus on can be difficult to determine on your own, let alone figuring out what your pet wellness coverage can handle.
To help new pet owners, we'll look at the most critical tests for cats and dogs. This list isn't comprehensive or exhaustive, but if you're looking for a place to start, we'll give you somewhere to dive into!
#1 Physical examination
One of the first things you should do with a recently adopted cat or dog is to get them into a veterinarian's office for a physical exam. While you might think any physical issues will be apparent, a trained vet can quickly discover a lot about a cat or dog from an examination.
This examination can include checking vital signs, general health, and the structure of bones and teeth. It can also reveal a lot about particular organs, such as the heart, lungs, eyes, ears, and lymph nodes.
The physical examination is also an excellent time for you as a new pet owner to talk to your vet and learn what you should expect. Ask questions about what vaccinations your pet will need and what parasites you should watch out for in your area. Remember, most treatments as part of a routine checkup should be included as part of pet wellness plans.
#2 Fecal exam
When it comes to your dog’s feces or the contents of the cat litter box, you're probably most worried about trying to get rid of it. However, your pet's leavings can reveal a surprising amount about their health.
After all, you are what you eat, and dogs and cats aren't picky eaters like us. This leaves them vulnerable to various tiny parasites that can be identified by examining their stool. It's a myth that you can visually identify all kinds of parasites yourself by looking at your animal's feces.
When getting a new pet, you must immediately get them in for a fecal examination to see if you need to invest in anti-parasite medication or medicine to treat any disease. Thankfully, many pet wellness plans cover the cost of fecal tests.
#3 Routine blood test
A blood test can reveal much more than fecal tests or physical examinations. In particular, a blood test is the best way to check the overall health of your pet's organs, hormones, and nutrition.
Regular blood work checks are particularly good at catching liver and kidney complications early. They're also good for picking up on conditions such as diabetes or anemia. Blood tests will also give your vet the information they need if they later must anesthetize your pet when you get them spayed or neutered.
#4 Heartworm test
Heartworm is a particular kind of parasite that affects the lungs and heart. Contrary to common knowledge, it affects dogs and cats but is more common in dogs.
Unlike many parasites, heartworm is not contracted by accidentally eating or licking the parasite's eggs. Instead, heartworm is injected directly into the blood system after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Getting your new pet tested for heartworm is vital, even if you intend to give them preventative medicine against it.
This is because being infected with heartworm can cause complications with such medicine. A heartworm test can be done alongside other tests for parasite-borne illnesses, such as Lyme disease.
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All pet parents want to make sure their furry family members are being looked after properly. When adopting pets, their health and happiness are bound to be your highest priority.