When you bring your pet in for their annual complete wellness exam, your vet may see a need to run additional laboratory tests, using a sample of your pet’s blood, urine, feces, skin, or hair to gain further insight into their health. However, just because your vet asks for lab tests, it doesn’t mean that you should assume something is wrong with them. Oftentimes, your veterinarian will ask for certain tests to establish the baseline of your pet’s values. That way, if they get sick, it is clear to your vet immediately that the values are abnormal. These tests can also help your Fort Collins veterinarian diagnose any illnesses, as they can detect signs of certain illnesses and rule out others. Laboratory testing can also help us determine if a certain treatment is working for your pet, or if we need to change our methods. Finally, any pets scheduled for surgery will need diagnostic testing performed first to ensure your pet isn’t at risk for complications.
Even young and healthy pets need diagnostic testing, so just because your puppy seems healthy, doesn’t mean that you should be hesitant to have them tested. At Countryside Animal Hospital, we offer a variety of laboratory tests to ensure that we are giving your furry friend the best healthcare available.
Types of Laboratory Tests
- Complete Blood Count (CBC): This measures the number of red and white blood cells, as well as the platelets in the blood. This can be used to diagnose leukemia, anemia, and infections. It can also show your vet how your pet is responding to certain treatments.
- Urinalysis (UA): This helps your vet identify any substances in the urine that are unusual, such as protein, sugar, or blood. It can also help them diagnose certain illnesses such as diabetes, UTIs, dehydration, or kidney issues.
- Blood Chemistry Panel: This measures the chemical elements of your pet’s blood. This identifies how your pet’s organs are functioning and can help your vet diagnose illness.
- Heartworm Test: If your pet shows signs of heartworm, your vet may request a heartworm test.
- Fecal Exam: By observing a pet’s stool, your vet can observe for signs of parasites, fungi, or protozoa.
- Skin Scraping: Using a skin sample, your vet may be able to identify any infections present.
- Thyroid Function Test: If there is evidence of a thyroid problem, your vet may need to test the thyroid function.
- Fine-Needle Aspirates: If your dog has any unusual lumps or bumps, your vet may perform a biopsy to look for cancer cells.
- Feline Immunodeficiency Disease Testing: If your veterinarian has reason to believe your cat has an autoimmune disorder, they may ask for a feline immunodeficiency disease test.
If your pet seems healthy, you may be tempted to skip their complete wellness exam. However, it is crucial that you don’t. Diagnostic testing is necessary whether your furry companion is generally healthy or not because it ensures that we take a proactive approach to their health. Instead of waiting for them to get sick and having to treat them, we are able to catch illnesses when they are just starting with the use of preventative measures like laboratory testing. Your pet may seem healthy, but diagnostic testing allows us to get a clearer perspective of their health, allowing us to catch any abnormalities before they become major problems.
At Countryside Animal Hospital, we are proud to provide Fort Collins with the Top Rated Local® veterinary services they need to have healthy, happy pets. With years of experience in the area, you know you can trust us to offer the level of care your dog or cat needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our vets!