Preventive Care is here

Preventive Care giving blood

Franklin Vets launched its new Preventive Care Package for cats and dogs in June. Preventive care helps detect serious diseases and medical problems before they can become major. Annual check-ups as well as certain laboratory tests will all contribute to a comprehensive preventive care programme.

The Franklin Vets Preventive Care Package is made up of a suite of blood, urine and feces tests to check for underlying disease conditions that might be missed by routine clinical examination. It is ideally carried out following a routine veterinary examination such as happens during a vaccination visit.

The tests are designed to be done on well animals. While a lot of the tests are the same as those we would conduct on sick animals, the turnaround time for results is 7-10 days and this wouldn’t be suitable when testing sick animals.

The programme is administered by our nurses who co-ordinate sample collection and despatch to the laboratory that carries out the testing. The owner is asked to collect the urine and faeces at home and bring in fresh samples of these at the visit scheduled for the blood sample collection. Where this is difficult for the owner to do our nurses can help, but this might require a drop off appointment and a few hours stay at the clinic.

When results come back the nurse will screen them for abnormalities and collate the results into a report for the owner. Any abnormalities will be checked by the vet who can then prioritise decisions if needed and next steps.

Preventive care testing done around the world on thousands of animals has found underlying health problems in a surprising number of animals:

  • 1 in 7 adult pets (that’s dogs 3-6 years and cats 2-8 years of age)
  • 1 in 5 senior pets (dogs 7-10 years, cats 9-13 years)
  • 2 in 5 geriatric pets (dogs 11+ and cats 14+).

The kind of problems identified include conditions affecting liver, kidneys, red blood cells, white blood cells, electrolytes, urinary system, parasites and hormonal disorders. Dogs and cats have evolved to hide underlying medical conditions that could make them fall more easily to being preyed upon. That is why it can be difficult to detect these just by physical examination and why laboratory tests are so helpful.

The faecal sample is to screen for intestinal parasites. None of our normal worming treatments are 100% effective against worms and some of them do not treat all worms. It is surprising how many positives are found with this test.

Although we typically associate routine blood screening with older animals there is compelling evidence showing the value in testing young animals as well. Even when the screening tests are normal these results provide an important benchmark of normal for that animal which can be used as a reference when they have further testing throughout their life and also if they fall sick.

The cost for the Preventive Care Package is $250 for dogs and $275 for cats, and this represents a significant discount (close to 50%) on the normal retail price if all of these tests were done outside of this package.

Please discuss with our team (vet, nurse or customer service representative) if you would like more information or have any questions, or would like to schedule testing.

Dr Nick Twyford BVSc MANZCVS (Medicine of Dogs)


Franklin Vets

Franklin Vets - excellence in veterinary care for dairy, farming, lifestyle, equine and household pets. BESTPRACTICE ACCREDITED NZ.