Using home testing kits to manage your pet’s health

Using home testing kits to manage your pet’s health - Vetster

Home testing kits can be helpful for many types of pets, regardless of whether they’re healthy or living with a chronic illness. While scheduling a virtual vet appointment can help you care for your pet in between regular vet appointments, home testing kits can allow you to access more information about your pet’s health that can lead to a happier and healthier life.

What Can Home Test Kits Detect?

Here’s a list of what you may be able to detect in your pet using a home test kit:

Home test kits are designed to be as user-friendly and simple as possible, but knowing when to use a home test and how to interpret the results is complicated. Discuss home testing with a vet to learn more about what type of testing might be useful for your pet’s individual needs. If you’re coping with a chronic illness, ask your attending veterinarian which tools will make it easier to collect accurate information they need to guide the treatment plan. A veterinarian has the scientific skills and background necessary to help you assess the usefulness and validity of the many different test kits available. Being proactive about managing your pet's heath is the best approach to take in any case, but wasting money on tests that aren’t useful or confuse matters with questionable results benefits no one. We’re here to help with that.

Pet Diabetes Maintenance

Diabetes is one of the most common diseases that pet parents can use home test kits for. The prevalence of diabetes is rising in both cats and dogs.

The rate of diabetes in dogs is rising.

A recent GMI report indicated that pet diabetes is rising across the globe in both dogs and cats. Overweight pets are also increasing in number, with obesity considered a contributing factor to the development of this disease. Over 40% of dogs in North America between the age of 5 and 11 are estimated to be overweight.

Home test kits allow pet owners to monitor their dog or cat’s diabetes via blood glucose using a handheld device that takes a small blood sample. Testing at home will help you monitor your pet's diabetes and alert you to when you may need to get in touch with your vet to make adjustments to their treatment plan. Not all blood glucose monitors are created equal, so be sure to talk to your vet before making this substantial purchase.

Testing your pet for skin conditions, ear infections, and parasites

MySimplePetLab (MSPL) has a variety of home tests for cats and dogs that can help you identify pesky issues like skin mites, yeast infections, ear infections, and parasites. You can get a MSPL test today through Book an online virtual care appointment and work with one of our top-rated online vets to manage a variety of potential skin conditions, ear infections, or parasites by beginning with a credible diagnostic test. Some MSPL tests return your results within just one day after your test arrives at the lab. This allows you to make effective, timely decisions to treat your pet for the correct condition. The tests are designed to make it easy for pet parents to collect a useful sample and send it to the lab. When you receive your MSPL test results, you can easily share them with your vet to follow up on your pet’s condition.

Pet DNA tests - do they really work?

Both canine and feline genomes were fully sequenced shortly after the turn of the last century. In the years that followed, at-home DNA tests became available for both cats and dogs. These were originally intended for entertainment value, but as the pet genome database expands, the information they provide becomes increasingly accurate. Your pet’s DNA analysis can provide relatively accurate information about their ancestry as well as identify markers for genetic conditions that your pet may be carrying.

Popular home tests, like those from Basepaws, can display DNA analysis for cats as well as give you information about their oral health. DNA My Dog test kits can tell you about your dog's breed and genetic background, so you can determine what diseases they may be predisposed to.

Once again, even though testing is relatively easy and straightforward, interpreting the results may not be. For example, if your pet tests positive for markers of a genetic disease, does that mean she’s doomed to develop that condition someday? Or does it just mean she’ll stay healthy but could pass the genes on to any offspring? Not all home tests are created equal, and some tests may need to be repeated at a veterinary office. If you are having trouble deciphering your pet’s results, or deciding whether your pet can be tested at home in the first place, schedule a virtual care appointment.

Should you use home test kits?

Home test kits are never a replacement for taking your pet to regular vet appointments or for diagnosing diseases that require ongoing care. However, home testing can help provide a better picture of your pet’s overall health and to find out if your pet may need to see a vet. In some cases, testing at home can help you better manage a pet’s chronic conditions under the supervision of your vet. Always thoroughly research any tests you give your pet at home, and when in doubt, book a virtual vet appointment to discuss how home test kits can fit into your pet’s larger health story. Vetster is available 24/7 to help guide you when you want to use a home diagnostic kit to manage your pet’s health. With thousands of licensed vets to choose from on your schedule, you can confidently take control of your pet’s health anytime and anywhere with Vetster.

The Vetster Editorial Team is comprised of seasoned writers and communicators dedicated to elevating stories about Vetster, pets and their owners.
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