While a comprehensive physical exam can give the veterinary team a great deal of information about what may be happening with your pet, additional testing may be needed to for further information. Think of it in the same way as your own doctor visits. At Buckeye Veterinary Clinic, we utilize the latest tests to help diagnose and determine a treatment plan for your pet.
Laboratory testing is performed both in-house here at Buckeye and by outside laboratories. For example, when your dog comes in for a wellness screening, part of what is required yearly is the heartworm test. This test is run with two drops of blood by our quick in-house test kit and you will have results before you leave. Additional in-house testing before sedation or anesthesia are performed here at Buckeye.
Other tests we perform routinely in-house include:
- Fecal Evaluation by Centrifugation
- Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (feline AIDS)
- Urinalysis – microscopic cellular evaluation and chemical analysis
- Packed Cell Volume – for base hydration or anemia evaluation
- I-Stat chemical panel – this includes kidney values, electrolytes and protein level
More extensive testing is sent to an outside laboratory. Buckeye typically utilizes Marshfield Labs, but also uses other specialty labs. By sending samples (blood, urine, tissue, etc.) to other labs, the veterinarians can learn a great deal about what is affecting your pet as well as what is the best course of treatment. Many of the results from these tests are available in 24 hours, though some do take longer. Some examples are:
- CBC and Chemistry: One of the most common tests sent out. These tests look at the type and number of blood cells, as well as chemical indicators of organ and system health.
- T4: This is a thyroid hormone. This test tells us whether your pet’s thyroid gland is too active (hyperthyroid, relatively common in older cats) or not active enough (hypothyroid, not uncommon in older dogs).
- Urine Culture: This test tells the veterinarian not only what type of bacteria is causing your pet’s urinary system infection, but also what antibiotic is the best choice for combating that infection.
- Cytology/Histopathology: When your pet has a lump and the veterinarian uses a needle to pull (aspirate) some cells from it or to remove it, the sample is sent out to a lab for an expert to evaluate what type of lump it is and whether it is benign or malignant. In the case of a lump removal, this test can also help determine if surgery managed to remove all of the mass or whether some was left behind.
Links & Resources
Learn more about lab testing with this article from HealthyPet.com.