Veterinarians rely on blood and lab tests when determining the status of your pet’s health. When your pet is displaying signs of illness, lab tests may reveal the presence of certain illnesses, while ruling others out. Lab results can also be useful before surgery in determining whether your pet is at risk for complications from anesthesia.
Even when your pet is completely healthy, your vet may want to run tests to establish baseline health values. Most often, 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. Early detection increases the effectiveness of the treatment plan implemented. Preventative and diagnostic testing is an important component in giving your pet a long and healthy life.
At Block House Creek Animal Hospital, we are able to help you better understand your pet’s health. Our veterinary clinic in Cedar Park, Texas is equipped with an in-house lab where we perform important diagnostic and preventative tests.
Blood & Lab Tests for Pets
Some of the most common blood and lab tests for pets include:
Complete Blood Count (CBC): A CBC gives a count of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in your pet’s blood. This is important in assessing the health of your pet’s immune system. CBC tests assess 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.
Blood Chemistries: This test assesses organ function, electrolyte levels, and levels of hormones among others. These tests are useful for vets 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 undergo blood chemistry tests.
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.
Other Diagnostic Tests Available
X-rays are one of the best tools we have to evaluate your pet's musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, gastrointestinal, urinary, and reproductive systems. X-rays “give us a view” of the location and severity of bone fractures and can help us locate foreign bodies (toys, bones, etc.) inside the stomach. They can also identify possible heart disease and other issues.
We use the latest in veterinary digital x-ray technology when needed for your pet’s treatment. Digital x-rays are incredibly useful because, unlike traditional film x-rays, digital x-rays lead to a faster and more accurate diagnosis because they are more detailed and higher quality. Digital x-rays are easier to take than film x-rays, which means less time on the x-ray table for your pet and less stress for everyone. Also, digital x-ray images can be saved to a disc and sent electronically to specialists and consultants if needed for further scrutiny.
The ECG is another diagnostic tool that is routinely used to assess the electrical and muscular functions of the heart. We can assess the heart rate and rhythm to determine any abnormalities. We can also use this instrument for monitoring a pet while under anesthesia.
Call your veterinarian today at Block House Creek Animal Hospital to ask about our laboratory and diagnostics testing services in Cedar Park, Texas.
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