Diagnostic Testing for Each Life Stage

Minimum Database for Healthy Dogs

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Fecal testing for parasites

Puppy

4 in the first year

Young Adult

1–4 times/yr based on use of preventive product and lifestyle

Mature Adult

1–4 times/yr based on use of preventive product and lifestyle

Senior

1–4 times/yr based on use of preventive product and lifestyle

Tick-borne disease

Puppy

N/A

Young Adult

Annually

Mature Adult

Annually

Senior

Annually

Heartworm

Puppy

N/A

Young Adult

Annually; initial test is especially important to evaluate preownership status

Mature Adult

Annually

Senior

Annually

CBC (HCT, RBC, WBC, differential, cytology, platelets)

Puppy

N/A

Young Adult

Consider for initial baseline

Mature Adult

Annually

Senior

Every 6–12 mo

Chemistry

At a minimum, include: TP, albumin, ALT, glucose, BUN, Creatinine, ± SDMA if available.

Puppy

N/A

Young Adult

Consider the minimum panel for initial baseline

Mature Adult

Minimum annually (consider comprehensive)

Senior

Comprehensive every 6–12 mo

Urinalysis (USpG, sediment, glucose, ketones, bilirubin, protein, occult blood)

Puppy

N/A

Young Adult

Consider for initial baseline

Mature Adult

Annually

Senior

Every 6–12 mo

Imaging

Puppy

N/A

Young Adult

Consider orthopedic radiographic screening for large-breed dogs

Mature Adult

There is not enough support for general recommendations, but breed-specific screening may be indicated

Senior

There is not enough support for general recommendations, but breed-specific screening may be indicated

ECG

Puppy

N/A

Young Adult

N/A

Mature Adult

There is not enough support for general recommendations, but breed-specific screening may be indicated

Senior

There is not enough support for general recommendations, but breed-specific screening may be indicated

These recommendations are based on the opinion of the task force, for apparently healthy dogs and do not include recommendations for preanesthetic bloodwork.

ALT (alanine aminotransferase); BUN (blood urea nitrogen); ECG (electrocardiogram); HCT (hematocrit); RBC (red blood cell); SDMA (symmetric dimethylarginine); TP (total protein); USpG (urine specific gravity); WBC (white blood cell)

The 2019 AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines are supported by generous educational grants from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., CareCredit, Elanco Animal Health, Hill’s ® Pet Nutrition, Inc., IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., Merck Animal Health and Zoetis Petcare.