Pet Care 101 – Does My Pet Need Diagnostic Testing?

diagnostic testing

It’s easy to assume that just because our pets look healthy, eat well, exercise regularly, and get good rest that they are in top shape. This may, in fact, be true. In many cases, however, even the healthiest looking pet on the outside can be developing internal issues that require attention before they get out of hand. If you’ve ever wondered ‘does my pet need diagnostic testing,’ this article should help to answer this question for you once and for all.

The Importance of Proactive Pet Care

Pets are notoriously secretive when it comes to showing any signs of illness, pain, discomfort, or any other signs of not doing so well. This is a hardwired and natural instinct that is rooted in their wild roots. This is why it can be so alarming when you’re in the middle of a life-threatening illness ‘all of a sudden’ with very little, if any, notice. Rather than waiting for the time where you are forced to react to an already established condition to reveal itself in a mature state, proactive pet care can get ahead of pet health challenges before any serious issues can arise.

A Closer Look – Diagnostic Pet Testing

One of the safest and most effective ways to ensure your pet is looking great inside and out is to speak to your veterinarian about regular pet check-ups. During these wellness visits, a series of diagnostic tests are performed. Some of these tests are simple, such as your vet feeling around for lumps or hotspots, while others require a bit more attention, like a full dental health check-up and cleaning.

When you employ the services of these diagnostic tests, you are able to see things from a more accurate and holistic perspective. Even something as seemingly ‘simple’ as a toothache can develop into a serious, life-threatening condition for pets. Prevention through proactive wellness check-ups can help to ensure that your pet is not silently suffering from, or quickly developing, a serious health issue.

The last thing any pet owner ever wants to say is ‘my cat was just fine until I took her to the vet only to find out she has liver disease.’ More often than not, these conditions develop silently in the background until they are no longer able to stay hidden due to late-stage symptoms.

What Tests Are Suggested?

Every situation is different. Even so, there is a small array of general diagnostics that are considered relatively standard across the veterinary community. These basic tests include:

  • Physical examination to look at some of the more obvious signs of health (or disease). This includes palpating the abdomen, lymph nodes, coat, listening to heart and lungs, and other physical observations.

  • Fecal examination and urinalysis to look at various markers of internal organ health.

  • Blood testing to look at ‘complete blood count’ (CBC) providing insight into hydration levels, anemia, clotting ability, infection, and immune system response, among other markers of health.

  • Parasite testing to look for various signs of flea, tick, heartworm, or intestinal worms and the diseases they can spread.

  • Titer testing to see if your pet’s immune system is able to fight off various diseases commonly vaccinated for.

  • Dental examination to determine the overall health of the oral cavity. This can be quite extensive and may include general anesthesia to complete properly.


​​​​​​​Not every test is required on every pet check-up. Also, depending on where you are located, there may be other tests that are suggested according to geographical needs. The list above includes the basic tests typically performed, but there are many others for more specialized diagnostics if and when required. Your veterinarian will use the appropriate tests at the right frequency when you establish a regular preventive health routine that includes, at least, annual professional wellness exams.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, if your asking ‘does my pet need diagnostic testing,’ the answer is yes. When you establish a preventive wellness routine that includes regular veterinary visits once or twice per year (or as otherwise suggested by your vet), you can rest assured that your pet will have the best chance of having a healthy internal experience for many years to come. If you have not yet had your pet examined for internal conditions, reach out to us today here at Geneva Veterinary Clinic, and we can gladly help you begin taking the next steps toward pet illness prevention.