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In Home Health Tests for Your Small Dog
Pet Checkup, Worms, Diabetes, and Routine tests

Vet and health care costs are increasingly burdensome for owners and a frequent reason why dogs are turned in to shelters. For families with multiple dogs, it's even more difficult.

Fortunately, there are some health tests you can do right in your home. They're not intended to replace a regular veterinary exam but offer an affordable way to identify early signs of disease.

“Many of the conditions that we see are correctable, often by dietary changes alone, if they are detected early enough. The problem is that by the time we see the animal, the condition is often advanced and more difficult to treat,” veterinarian Robert Wiegert.





The Pet Checkup

A pretty comprehensive test that uses a teaspoon-size urine sample from your dog and takes about 5-minutes to do. It's essentially a urine dipstick and costs about $30.

It's not hard to collect the urine - really. Use a paper cup if your dog lifts his leg to pee or the flat lid of a paper container if your dog squats close to the ground to pee.

The manufacturer doesn't make claims about its accuracy, but it's the same materials used in most veterinary tests. Consider it an early warning system.

It tests for, among other problems:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney and liver problems
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Cushing's disease

Especially watch the ph level (normal range is 5.5 to 7.0) and signs of blood in your dog's urine. These are common symptoms of problems that should be discussed with your vet - pronto.




TEST@HOME
Fecal Worm Test
Kit

Worms

TEST@HOME Fecal Worm Test Kit for All Pets requires a teaspoon's worth of your dog's feces. You pack it up in the mailer that's in the kit and send it to the lab to be tested.

Results will be back in about 2-3 days. It's prepaid so you don't have any separate lab costs once you've paid the $20-$25 for the product.

Worthwhile especially in households with multiple dogs where worms can easily spread from dog to dog.


Diabetes

AlphaTRAK 2 Blood Glucose Monitoring System Kit is recommended by many veterinarians so owners can monitor their diabetic dog's glucose levels at home.

Stress, environmental factors, and costs can make routine monitoring at a vet's office difficult. It's usually easier on your dog to do this at home.

That doesn't mean it will be easy to get a blood sample from a small dog. Watch the DVD and read the manual that comes in this kit.

If your vet is helpful, ask him/her or the vet tech to show you the best way to get a blood sample. Or, you can call Abbott Labs customer support number. They are extremely helpful.

You'll need to replenish the strips in the kit and most people continue to use the AlphaTRAK 2 Blood Glucose Test Strips because they're made for animals.

I realize human strips are cheaper but they're difficult to decipher for a dog since the scale for measurement is not the same. Unless your a math major, you may find it dauntingly complex.

Managing a diabetic dog requires commitment on an owner's part and regular monitoring of blood glucose level is the most important step you can take.


Routine Tests

If your dog is acting abnormally but you don't see any obvious symptoms, then

Most importantly, remember the old saying: when in doubt, call the vet!


 
 

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