Laboratory screening Laboratory screening

In the author's opinion routine laboratory screening of geriatric dogs with heart disease is mandatory, particularly before the administration of drugs which might be hepatotoxic or nephrotoxic such as the cardiac glycosides.

Chronic diuretic use may induce hypokalaemia, indeed hypokalaemia is probably common but rarely detected because it is not routinely screened for. Elevated liver enzymes are likely to be detected if hepatic congestion is present, and prerenal azotaemia is common in the presence of reduced cardiac output.