As a pet owner, there may be times when you recognize that your pet isn’t feeling well, yet you can’t figure out the reason. Reading symptoms in animals can be difficult, and you may need help understanding your pet’s condition. In this case, it might be the right time to enlist the help of your veterinarian, who may request lab tests to reveal the presence of certain illnesses or diseases, as well as rule others out. Lab results can also be a useful tool in determining any risks for complication from anesthesia during surgery.
Early detection testing provide us with important information regarding:
By identifying these diseases and their symptoms via lab testing, we can develop a treatment plan up front, thereby increasing the chances of effective treatment and long-term health for your pet.
Blood & Lab Tests for Pets
Even when your pet is completely healthy, your vet may recommend running tests to establish baseline health values. Typically, these values are established through a series of lab tests— a complete blood count, a urinalysis, and blood chemistry panel. These tests may be recommended for pets of all ages, even when your pet is young and healthy. Establishment of baseline values allows your veterinarian to better diagnose changes and early development of disease as your pet ages. Early detection increases the effectiveness of the treatment plan implemented. Preventative and diagnostic testing is an important component of giving your pet a long and healthy life.
Some of the most common preventative and diagnostic lab tests are:
Blood Chemistries: This test evaluates organ function, electrolyte levels, and levels of hormones among others. Vets find these tests useful when evaluating the health of older pets or pets who take medications for chronic conditions. Pets showing signs of vomiting or diarrhea, or which have been exposed to toxic substances, will also require blood chemistry tests.
Complete Blood Count: A CBC gives a count of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in your pet's blood, allowing us to assess the vigor of your pet's immune system. CBC tests look at your pet's blood clotting ability, levels of hydration, immune system response, and any signs of anemia or infection. Your vet may request a CBC test for pets with symptoms of fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness or vomiting.
Heartworm Test: Our vets recommend heartworm testing as part of your pet's annual wellness exam. They should be tested even if they take a preventative heartworm medication. If your veterinarian suspects your pet has heartworms, he or she may also request the test as confirmation. In either scenario, a blood sample will be required to determine results and necessary treatments.
Why do we recommend preventative testing for all of our patients each year?
One in 10 dogs develop diabetes.
Overweight cats have a greater chance of developing diabetes.
Kidney disease occurs in 1 in every 10 dogs and 1 in every 3 cats.
The fifth leading cause of death in dogs is liver disease.
Bringing your pet in for preventative testing allows us to determine your pet’s regulated health baseline. From there, we will be able to detect any changes and possible developing diseases as you bring your pet in for regular checkups.