Making the right diagnosis
The wellbeing of the companion with whom you share your days, evenings… your life… is something you take very much to heart. Nothing makes you feel better than to see your furry friend playful, happy and healthy. And as you well know, any change in appearance, behaviour or attitude can be cause for concern.
Because prevention is worth the proverbial pound of cure, annual visits to your family veterinarian are certainly recommended. These visits include a yearly exam and vaccination (which are often done at the same time). However, if something changes or strange symptoms crop up, you’ll want to know why. For your peace of mind, don’t hesitate: consult your vet right away.
After listening to your observations, your family vet will perform tests, using advanced tools, similar to those found in human medicine. Among others, laboratory tests include:
- stool (e.g.: presence of parasites);
- urine (e.g.: looking for struvite crystals);
- blood (e.g.: checking liver condition).
Your vet will use various tools, equipment and techniques. For instance, X-rays allow for the accurate, reliable and conclusive diagnosis of many debilitating conditions, such as osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. Furthermore, ultrasound is now very common in clinics and veterinary hospitals. Your vet might perform an ultrasound to obtain additional information, since it can used to see what’s going on in the abdomen. A form of ultrasound can also be used to facilitate the auscultation (listening) of internal organs, with images that are much more precise than X-rays. What’s more, this technique makes multiple diagnoses possible. For instance, if your female is expecting, your family vet will know from the very first weeks of gestation.
So, if you’re worried that the pet that means so much to you isn’t in tip top shape, rest assured that your vet has the right tools to make the right diagnosis.