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Urinalysis. The health and function of the urinary system is especially important in older animals to help with the early detection of kidney disease or infection. Heartworm testing. A simple test may be run in your veterinarian’s office to check for deadly heartworms. This test is typically run annually for dogs, even if they are on preventatives. No preventative (much like vaccinations) provide 100 percent protection.

Lyme disease testing. Tick migration has exposed all of us and our pets to a variety of Rickettsial diseases. Ticks are common parasites that can be found anywhere—from deep woods to urban parks. Each year, thousands of dogs become infected with serious diseases—such as ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and others— transmitted by a number of different ticks. These diseases have negative impact on many internal organs, and symptoms often do not appear until damage has occurred. Fecal tests. Identify parasites that can cause diarrhea, weight loss, and blood loss. You and your veterinary team can develop a health plan for your pet. Always discuss the results, and get answers and explanations from your veterinary team. The Internet has options for information, but make sure you rely on reputable sites and sources. ND Christy Bell is a Licensed Veterinary Technician at Blue Ridge Veterinary Associates in Purcellville, Virginia. Client education, veterinary blood banking, emergency medicine, and professional photography are her key interests.

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NOVADog Magazine-Fall 2012  

The Ultimate Guide To Canine-Inspired Living in the DC Metro Area

NOVADog Magazine-Fall 2012  

The Ultimate Guide To Canine-Inspired Living in the DC Metro Area