Determining what exactly is causing your pet to be sick or in pain isn’t always a straightforward process. It is made even more difficult by the natural communication barrier that exists between animals and humans. For this reason, diagnostic testing is needed so that various aspects of your pet’s health can be checked, which should tell your veterinarian more about what is ailing her.
In order for diagnostic testing to be valuable, it is necessary for the samples to be sent off to a laboratory so that trained professionals can analyze them and determine if there are irregularities from the ‘norm’ which suggest that your pet is sick. Identifying these abnormalities enables your veterinarian to apply their knowledge and make an accurate diagnosis.
Types of test that require laboratory services
There are various types of test that will require samples to be sent off to a laboratory to be analyzed as part of the diagnostic process. These include the following:
It may not be the most pleasant sample to collect, but a stool sample can tell us a few important pieces of information about the health of your pet. It is particularly useful for detecting parasitic worms, including hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms which can often only be detected in this way.
Urinalysis is another routine test that is primarily used to assess the health of your pet’s kidneys and urinary tract. However, it can also reveal issues with other organs as well as detecting metabolic diseases including diabetes.
Unsurprisingly, blood tests can reveal the most information about the health and wellbeing of your pet and regular blood tests are recommended so that our veterinary team can closely monitor what is happening inside your pet’s body. There are various types of analysis carried out during blood testing. These include:
Complete Blood Count (CBC) – This looks at the number of red and white cells present in the blood sample, as well as the number of platelets. A low red blood cell count can enable diagnosis of anemia as well as other conditions, while a raised white blood cell counts would indicate that your pet’s body is already fighting some sort of disease or infection. Platelets are required for your pet’s blood to clot if she was to suffer an injury.
Blood Chemistry Profile – Blood chemistry analysis looks at the levels of a variety of different chemicals in the sample provided, including things like enzymes, electrolytes, fats, hormones, sugar, vitamins, minerals, and proteins. The information gained from this test can tell your vet how well your pet’s organs and body systems are working. For example, low sodium levels could suggest that your pet is dehydrated while abnormally high or low potassium levels could indicate an issue with your pet’s heart.
Thyroid Testing – If you have an older pet, she may routinely require thyroid testing. This is important as thyroid function deteriorates with advancing age. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism are very similar to that of many other diseases, so thyroid testing is an important diagnostic tool when it comes to determining what is making your pet unwell.
We are pleased to be able to offer comprehensive laboratory testing at our offices. Please contact our friendly and knowledgeable team for more information.