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Thread: How often is bloodwork necessary?

  1. #1
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    Default How often is bloodwork necessary?

    I am wondering what the recommended time frame for wellness exams are??

    Last night I took Kosmo to the vet for his yearly annual and it ended up costing me $300 I nearly fell over dead!

    He got:

    his consultation (which his heart and knees are healthy - YAY!)
    rabies vaccine
    fecal test
    wellness blood test
    flea medication
    eye ointment

    He didn't get his combo yet because last year he had the runs and vomiting after his combo/rabies and the vet felt it was best to do them at 2 seperate intervals. He seems fine although he did have the runs this morning. (who knows what that's from though!)

    When he got his rabies the vet started laughing and said he acted just like Kodee. He cried for like a minutes straight. She said it must be the "King Charles" in him.. LOL What's even funnier is that when they took him to take the blood he didn't make a peep!! He was putting on a show becaues mommy was there!!!

    So is a fecal test really necessary to do every year? I know it checks for all sorts of things, but if you don't think there is a problem, is it really necessary?

    How about a blood test? They are telling me I "should" get one every year but I think that might be too often in a youngin. I can see when he turns about 7 or so to do it every year but should I be doing it every year anyways?

    Heart worm tests are pretty well done every year around here regardless so I won't mess with that one.

    I got him sentinel - the pill form of flea medication this time. I don't want to deal with topical flea treatment this year - I didnt like the smell, the look, or how kosmo ran around rubbing on the couch crying for an hour afterwards. . it turned me off big time..

    He had to get eye ointment becaues apparently the eye discharge that he puts out is coming in contact with his skin and burning it! I asked her how come he's always "scratching underneath his eyes" and she said that his eye discharge is actually causing lesions under there.. It's raw skin and not a huge patch but I feel awful. I was going to put some neosporin on there but she told me it's better I get this stuff because neosporin is not meant for anywhere near eyes. It's called BNPH ~ anybody ever heard of it ? I am also instructed to wipe under his eyes several times a day for the next two weeks.. I hope his hair down there starts growing back sometime soon.

    Regarding his weight - she said he was just very dainty and lean with a small bone structure. He's thin, but not unhealthy thin. She said that it's better for him to be thin than fat and as long as he doesn't lose more then he will be fine.

    Anyways any opinions are appreciated!!
    Sara, mommy to Kosmo ~ 4 year blenheim boy and Faith 3 year b/t girl *rescue*

  2. #2
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    Wow, that was alot of money, I can understand why you nearly fell over dead. When I bring Prince for his yearly booster I just get him checked over, my vet has never even mentioned blood tests or fecal tests. I have had to bring him a couple of times over discharge from his eyes and I got drops for that which sorted it out. His eyes weep every now and again but I just clean them with warm water on tissue. You have me wondering now should he be getting a more thorough examination
    Sue, Prince (B&T, DOB: 28/09/2001) & Lucy (Tri, DOB Unknown)

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    I have the heartworm blood test done every Feb-March on my 3 before they begin their heartworm meds in April.

    Then they get their bloodwork done before a general anesthetic, like when they have their dental cleaning & exam. The first one is before they are spay-neutered, and this serves as a baseline.

    I wouldn't have bloodwork done at any other time, unless one of them is ever sick and the vet recommends it to help with diagnosis, etc.

    Usually I am shocked at how much the Frontline Plus Flea and Tick monthly treatments cost for 3 dogs, but I don't mind paying for it that much, as we are then worry free!

    Whoops - forgot your first question - they get a wellness exam annually when they go in for vaccinations.
    Last edited by Cathy Moon; 4th May 2007 at 10:55 PM. Reason: add comments
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

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    Wow! I know that things are managed in different ways in different countries. Here in Australia when we take our dogs to the vets for their boosters & their checkup, no blood is taken. It is just the shot & a physical exam, unless there is a problem.

    We do however use heartworm preventative all year round so it would only be those dogs that have been missing their dose that would get blood taken to check the presence of heartworm.

    Same thing with intestinal worms. We routinely worm every 3 months.

    Then for those of us that use tick/flea preventative, again this is ongoing because the paralysis tick is around pretty well all year along the east coast of Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy
    Usually I am shocked at how much the Frontline Plus Flea and Tick monthly treatments cost for 3 dogs
    Cathy, I buy the giant-breed sized Frontline pipettes & draw up the correct amount into a syringe. I can get 6 doses out of one giant pipette and that makes the cost about 1/4 of what you would normally pay.
    Last edited by Caraline; 5th May 2007 at 01:11 AM.
    ~ Sam, Sonny & Beau ~

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    Just like Kodee... except Kodee was reversed! She didnt mind her vaccinations/rabies but she squeeled at her blood test! She took it Princess all the way and sulked in my arms after. The vet had to kiss and make up - but you noticed how good she is at that! I love her no rush attitude with lots of breaks to hug and kiss them!

    Hmm your bill seems much higher but then mine were all split out since we were doing the 2 visits with shots. I didnt do the bloodwork every yr with our lab but did do the heartworm. When Kodee had her wellness I didnt think it was too outrageous - due to food industry issues, I think I will most likely get it for the first 3 yrs then as need be till she is gets towards the senior years. That is assuming all is well, weight gain, energy, coat and THE FOOD INDUSTRY SMARTENS UP. We did the fecal when our lab was out and about in the country as she was often loose, but as she aged and didnt stray we stopped it.

    Well 300 is alot at once but the good part would be your confident his weight is healthy, you know his heart/knees, bloodwork, stool are good so you can relax and enjoy for another yr worry free!

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    Interdesting to see how different vets can be by locale/country, as Caraline says! Why are your vets doing blood tests as a regular thing (eg why do they say they should be tested annually?) -- was this just for heartworm or a general check? I have never heard of this unless there's a specific health issue of concern or before the dog is having surgery. Though if it is tied to heartworm, perhaps, but still, if you are treating and haven't missed a treatment is there really still such a high risk of heartworm that you need to do blood tests as well (maybe this varies by location)? That's what I'd want to ask the vet. We don't have heartworm or rabies here so don't need to give the dogs anything for those but I hadn't heard before of vets doing blood tests annually as well as the usual heartworm preventatives.

    I never do fecal exams or anything like that as a norm and the vets have never suggested it.

    To me, overall, this all seems a bit over the top but I suppose it keeps you on top of all sorts of issues just in case they happen? It then comes down to what people feel they want to do.

    To be honest though sounds to me like a nice but probably unecessary way of padding the vet's pocket, with little demonstrated need when there's no indication of a problem that needs investigating.

    By the way regarding this:

    She said it must be the "King Charles" in him
    It really annoys me that vets say this and fail to see there may be a cause and effect when an *entire breed* is known for this. A lot of people now think this is a seriously worrying issue in the breed that it so routinely cries out at injections to draw vet comment. Just wondering, were these injections done in the neck or thigh? The general recommendation from neurologists is to always have CKCS injections done in the thigh to lower the chance of pain due to CM/SM as the neck/shoulder area is potentially very painful to have injected, though they can also be sensitive elsewhere. Many neurologists also feel that CM/SM is the reason this breed routinely will feel pain when others don't. It is worth pointing this out to vets who may not be aware. With my own dogs since I switched from neck/back injections to thighs the crying has stopped, though as Leo now seems to be bothered by his hind legs sometimes, I don;t know if this will continue to be the case.

    For anyone who wants to see the difference between a normal skull in a different breed, wth normal room for the brain, and what is happening with cavaliers and why they are likely to be extra senssitive around head/neck/shoulders and thus to injections, this primer on MRIs from Laura Lang is very informative. I highly recommend giving the link to vets:

    http://www.premiercavalierinfosite.c...e%20Primer.htm
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  7. #7
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    Golly! That is steep! Over here in the UK, well at my own vets to be more specific, they are given a thorough check over, heart, eyes, teeth, weight checked, general health observations, but I have never had a vet run a blood test, or propose a fecal test either!
    Luckily we have less risk of heart worm , and we only have the rabies vaccine done if needed for the pet passport scheme if planning to travel abroad.
    My dogs are also checked annually by my cardiologist, although my vet is good, I prefer to have the cardiologists opinion too, happily my vet works with me and understands Cavaliers, he asks me if there has been any change in the CM/SM research, and I have now referred him to your SM website Karlin. I am happy with this vet, he is a senior partner but is very open to any new research progress being made in his profession and has not written Cavaliers off as being a breed with bad hearts! Refreshing eh?
    Cathryn
    Cavaliers leave pawprints in your heart and hair on everything else!!
    RE-LIVE YOUR CHILDHOOD THROUGH YOUR KIDS, THE TOYS ARE SO MUCH BETTER THESE DAYS!!

  8. #8
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    The bloodwork he got was called a routine wellness blood exam. It does the whole panel from kidneys to blood cell count.. just like before a surgery. I think the point of that is because then they know what your dogs levels are.. if they switch from year to ear it's easier to detect changes like cancer that you may not know about, etc.

    As far as the heartworm testing goes, vets here won't even sell you flea preventative unless you have the heartworm check done. I guess it must happen alot?? Although I don't know why if your dog is on proper anti-heatworm medication??

    The fecal testing is also just to make sure, I guess. I think next year I may pass on that. If Kosmo had worms I would surely know it, right?? I dont mean to be gross, but I do go through his poop a a few times a week just to make sure there's nothing in there that shouldn't be there. Also the flea medications help to prevent internal parasites (worms) so I don't know how necessary that is.

    Regarding the vaccinations, beleive it or not it was given to him in his thigh! I've always requested vets not to use their neck because of potential SM/chairi like malformations. I haven't ever MRId them - never had a reason to - but it's better to be safe than sorry. I think she may have just stuck him in a place that didn't have a lot of fat on it on his hind leg. He's very very lean and doesn't have much fat so maybe that's why it hurt him so much?? Last year before his neuter when he got his bloodwork done he cried before they even gave him the shot. When they put that rubber band around his arm - he cried. When they put the alcohol on his leg - he cried.. But this year apparently he didn't make a sound.

    I got his records faxed to me since I got to claim the eye ointment on insurance and I guess I am glad I got his bloodwork checked because there is "anemic" written all over his charts. I never felt he was anemic so I never brought him back in for further testing, but apparently the vet thought so.. So I guess I'll find out today what she has to say
    Sara, mommy to Kosmo ~ 4 year blenheim boy and Faith 3 year b/t girl *rescue*

  9. #9
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    Our vets prefer to do bloodwork before a general anesthesia, and I've always opted to have it done. It helps to reduce the risks by identifying unknown problems before anesthetizing the dog.

    Also, Therapy Dog International requires an annual fecal exam in order to renew the TDI dog's certificate. This is required for the TDI insurance.
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

  10. #10
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    My vet explained that a wellness blood test was to determine the normal numbers of that particular dog. Before old age-- so if they do one when he's sick (or old), you can compare what is well normal for that particular dog. When you are ill -- your numbers can go haywire- even thyroid numbers can be distorted. He likes to do them once when a dog is 4-5 years old.

    It is funny-- on the antech lab readout, they now admit that cavaliers thrombocytes (platelets) can be larger than normal and fewer in number and still be fine.

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