A powerful preventive tool
Lab testing can help detect and diagnose problems early—sometimes before your pet shows any symptoms.
Laboratory tests give us valuable information about your pet’s health. To help your pet enjoy optimum health, we may recommend several lab tests, from a routine stool analysis to identify internal parasites, to tests that show specific organ function. Such tests help us identify imbalances early, when they are easier to address.
Here is a partial list of the laboratory tests we offer:
- Blood chemistry testing for information about how all of the internal organs are functioning
- Complete blood cell count (CBC)
- Ear cytology
- Fecal (stool) analysis to screen for intestinal parasites
- Feline immunodeficiency virus screens
- Feline leukemia screens
- Heartworm detection
- Lyme disease screening
- Ringworm cultures to detect this fungal infection
- Vaccination titers to determine the level of antibody immunity that is present for the distemper and parvo viruses after vaccination
Regular lab testing
We stress yearly routine lab testing, as part of your pet’s annual exam. This helps us establish what is “normal” for your pet and helps us identify early warning markers of diseases that might not be apparent yet. We may also recommend lab tests:
- To evaluate your pet before a procedure requiring anesthesia
- If we suspect a health problem and need more information
- If we prescribe certain medications
People often assume that we can run a blood test to screen for cancer. It’s not that simple. Unfortunately at this time, there is no specific test that indicates cancer. Abnormal results in some blood tests can indicate that cancer might be present. However, to confirm cancer we generally have to follow up with more diagnostic procedures, such as an ultrasound or MRI.
We perform many types of tests in house and also work with major outside veterinary laboratories when more extensive testing is necessary.
What to expect
The process varies depending on the type of lab test recommended. For blood tests, we will draw a small amount of blood from your pet. This may require that we shave a part of your pet’s leg in order to be able to see the blood vessel clearly. We will cover the draw site with a small bandage that you will remove once your pet is home.
If we need to perform a fecal analysis, we will ask you to bring us a small sample of your pet’s stool in a clean container. The sample should be as fresh as possible.
For a urinalysis, we may collect a urine specimen, or we may ask you to collect a specimen in a clean cup or catch container. If you capture a specimen at home, please keep it in a cooler or refrigerator until you can get it to us. We must have the specimen within four hours.
Most of the time, we have the results within several days. Your veterinarian will call you to discuss the results.