When you place your pet in our hands, you trust us to provide the best possible medical care. That is why we may recommend certain tests when your pet is having a medical problem, scheduled for anesthesia, or taking certain medications.
Our hospital is equipped with a state of the art in-house laboratory. We have the capability of accurately and efficiently diagnosing infection, anemia, kidney and liver disease, diabetes, lyme and heartworm infection and many other conditions. Results of blood and urine testing are often available with-in the hour.
In addition we use an outside laboratory for additional tests as needed. Most of these test results are available by the next day.
In addition to our laboratory, we have the ability to take x-rays, measure blood pressure and intraocular pressures, perform an electrocardiogram (EKG) and other important diagnostic procedures.
Below are examples of tests that we can perform quickly and accurately in our clinic:
The urinalysis provides important information about the functioning capacity of the kidneys. In addition, the urine contains by-products from many organs and abnormal levels of these by-products can indicate disease such as liver and kidney disease or diabetes. Urine can also be examined under a microscope to determine the presence of abnormal cells, crystals or bacteria.
- Albumin (ALB) A protein which is produced by the liver. Reduced levels of this protein can point to chronic liver or kidney disease, intestinal disease, or intestinal parasites such as hookworm infection.
- Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) An enzyme that becomes elevated with liver disease or injury.
- Alkaline Phosphatase (ALKP) An enzyme produced by the cells lining the gall bladder and its associated ducts. Elevated levels can indicate liver disease or Cushing's syndrome.
- Amylase (AMYL) An enzyme produced by the pancreas. The pancreas secretes amylase to aid in digestion. Elevated blood levels can indicate pancreatic and/or kidney disease.
- Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) BUN is produced by the liver and excreted by the kidneys. Abnormal levels can indicate dehydration, and liver and kidney abnormalities.
- Calcium (Ca2+) Increased levels can be seen with diseases of the parathyroid gland and kidneys or as an indicator of certain types of tumors.
- Cholesterol (CHOL) Elevated levels of cholesterol are seen in a variety of disorders including genetic disease, liver and kidney disease and hypothyroidism.
- Creatinine (CREA) Creatinine is a by product of muscle metabolism and is excreted by the kidneys. Elevated levels can indicate kidney disease or urinary tract obstruction.
- Blood Glucose (GLU) High levels can indicate diabetes. In cats, high levels can indicate stress, which can merely be a result of the trip to the veterinary hospital. Low levels can indicate liver disease, infection, or certain tumors.
- Phosphorus (PROS) Elevated phosphorus can be an indicator of kidney disease.
- Total Bilirubin (TBIL) Bilirubin is a breakdown product of hemoglobin and is a component of bile. Bilirubin is secreted by the liver into the intestinal tract. Blood bilirubin levels are useful in diagnosing anemia and problems in the bile ducts.
- Total Protein (TP) The level of TP can detect a variety of conditions including dehydration and diseases of the liver, kidney or gastrointestinal tract.
- Sodium, Potassium, Chloride (Na+, K+, CI ) The balance of these electrolytes is vital to your pet's health. Abnormal levels can be life threatening. Electrolyte tests are important in evaluating vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and cardiac (heart) symptoms.
- Hematocrit (HCT) Provides information on the amount of red blood cells (RBCs) present in the blood. A low hematocrit indicates anemia.
- Complete Blood Count (CBC) A more complete panel of tests. A CBC provides detailed information on RBCs, white blood counts (WBCs) and platelets. The total WBC and differential (individual cell counts) can indicate infection, leukemia, stress, inflammation, or an inability to fight infection. Low platelets can indicate a bleeding problem. We might advise that surgery be delayed if anemia, infection or especially a low platelet count is present because these conditions could cause serious surgical complications.
- Morphologic Inspection Looking at the cells through a microscope can provide information on the type of anemia or inflammation, or other abnormalities such as leukemia.
Blood Pressure Measurements Blood pressure can be measured on cooperative awake dogs and cats in the exam room. Hyperthyroidism in cats, diabetes and kidney disease can result in elevated blood pressures which can lead to heart disease, kidney failure and/or blindness.
Commercial Laboratory For certain tests, it is more practical to send the samples out to a professional diagnostic laboratory. This not only helps ensure accurate and consistent results, but also enables us to discuss any issues with a board certified specialist. The results from these tests are normally ready the day after your pet's visit. Tests which are normally sent out include: Heartworm Accuplex The Heartworm Accuplex test checks for Heartworm infection and 3 tick-borne diseases. The tick borne diseases are Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichia. This is an annual test which is strongly recommended for all dogs. Fecal Screenings We recommend periodic fecal screenings for parasites such as roundworm, giardia, hookworm, tapeworm, and whip worm. Some of these can be transmitted to humans and can be very dangerous to children in particular. Giardia Testing Giardia is a protozoal parasite, spread by beavers, and contracted from ingesting contaminated water. Giardia can cause a variety of GI illness ranging from diarrhea to vomiting lethargy and fever. We now have a rapid test for giardia that is accurate and reliable.