As a responsible dog owner you should take your dog to the veterinarian at least once per year. This is a good habit to form with your dog that will keep him healthy for years to come, as well as enable you to prevent diseases, instead of waiting for them to form. A yearly physical examination will consist of evaluating your dog's general attitude and appearance. The eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and skin will be fully checked. The vet will also check the musculoskeletal, respiratory, nervous, digestive, genitourinary, and circulatory systems.
Serum Chemistry Profile
Sometimes called a "chem scan", the Serum Chemistry File is an extensive battery of tests that provide a broad database to evaluate your dog's general health. These tests confirm the results of the physical examination and will provide you with early warning signs of unsuspected problems. Have your dog fast for at least 12 hours before this test, to ensure the best of accuracy with the results.
A urinalysis test examines your dog's urine. This test will reveal the health of the genitourinary system. In addition, a urinalysis also reflects a variety of disease processes that involve other organs of the body.
The presents of parasites can be detected through the fecal analysis. Also, this test is sound for detecting the presence of undigested food particles which is an indicator that your dog's system is not able to break down and digest his food the way it should be.
Complete Blood Count
The complete blood count, or CBC, is a very routine profile of tests used to describe both the quality and the quantity of the cells in your dog's blood.
Normal Blood Test Results
As you make these yearly physical and blood chemistry exams a routine part of your dog's care, it will provide valuable information for the future. They help establish normal levels for your dog and if there is any deviation from those levels, then your vet can be easily notified and institute prevention.
The level of what is "normal" is established by the laboratory. These values vary depending on what laboratory equipment is used. These norms are established by analyzing the blood of a certain number of dogs and then the average is used as a benchmark for current tests. This is why it is important to stay with one clinic for as long as you can, preferably for your dog's entire life span.
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