When Should I Start Health Screening For My Pet?

Health screening is not just for seniors. It is for pets of all life stages. Screening your young pets establishes baseline values for comparison with future test results. It also detects diseases at early stages.

HEALTH SCREENING CAN DETECT DISEASES AT AN EARLY STAGE

Many animals do not display pain or signs of diseases that may have developed. Early detection through health screenings, pain control and treatment can prolong the quality of your pet’s life. Health screening, even when your pet is young and healthy, provides useful “baseline” values for comparison with future test results.

A routine Health Screening includes:
  • Physical Examination
  • Complete Blood Count
  • Blood Chemistry Panel
  • Urinalysis
  • Faecal Analysis
  • Thyroid Profile

A Blood Chemistry Panels helps to detect liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes mellitus and other hormonal diseases.

Depending on your pet’s health, X-rays or ultrasound may be needed to confirm a diagnosis. Especially when there are signs of heart, lung, kidney or liver disease.

Regular physical examinations can detect odd lumps & bumps which are common in older pets. Fine needle aspirations or biopsies are often needed to determine if the lump is benign or malignant.

SENIOR PETS SHOULD SEE THEIR VETS EVERY 6 MONTHS

Senior pets age more rapidly during their golden years. It is estimated that 6 months of your senior dog’s life is equivalent to 2 to 3 human years. Therefore, your old dog and cat should see their vet every 6 months with a Health Screening done every year.

Dogs and cats are usually considered seniors when they are 7 years old. As your pet enters his or her senior years, frequent health screenings are recommended to detect age-related diseases at an early stage.

For senior pets living with degenerative joint disease & generalised muscle wasting on the limbs, diet, supplements, hydrotherapy & pain relief (when needed) will help manage the condition & prolong the quality of life.

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Veterinary acupuncture is available at Mount Pleasant (North), Mount Pleasant (East) & Mount Pleasant (Changi). Acupuncture can be useful in cases of functional musculoskeletal problems such as degenerative joint disease (arthritis) which results in pain & inflammation,  behavioural changes (irritability, depression), reluctance to participate in normal activities (standing, walking, jumping), limping & paralysis.


TO VACCINATE OR NOT TO VACCINATE

Most pet owners would agree that routine administration of vaccines has been an excellent control for infectious diseases. What may be debatable is (i) the duration of immunity and (ii) how frequent vaccines should be given, especially for senior pets.

As much as we worry about over-vaccination, under-vaccination is also a real concern.

For dogs in Singapore, vaccines for Canine Parvovirus, Canine Distemper and Canine Adenovirus (Hepatitis) are considered core vaccines. Canine VacciCheck Antibody Test is available at our 9 clinics to measure the amount of antibodies present for these 3 diseases. The test results would help determine if your dog requires additional vaccination.

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