Full Diagnostic Laboratory
Our in-house laboratory gives us point-of-care diagnostic abilities when we’re treating sick or injured pets, and allows us to properly evaluate every surgical case prior to anesthesia. We perform a variety of in-house diagnostic tests including blood panels, urine tests, and blood clotting time.
A pet that appears healthy can be hiding symptoms of disease. For example, a pet can lose up to 75 percent of kidney function before showing any visible signs of illness. Routine blood testing helps us to evaluate aspects of your pet’s heath status that may be impossible to determine on physical examination alone.
Below is a list of common tests available and what information the test gives us:
Pre-anesthetic blood profile: This test confirms the organs your pet uses to process and eliminate anesthesia are functioning properly, and reveals any hidden health conditions that could put your pet at risk. These tests also establish a baseline for your pet for future reference. The pre-anesthetic blood profile includes:
- Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN): BUN is produced by the liver and excreted by the kidneys. Abnormally high levels can indicate kidney disease or dehydration, and low levels can be associated with liver disease.
- Creatinine (CREA): Creatinine is a by-product of muscle metabolism and is excreted by the kidneys. Elevated levels can indicate kidney disease, urinary tract obstruction or dehydration.
- Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT): An enzyme that becomes elevated with liver disease or injury.
- Alkaline Phosphatase (ALKP): An enzyme present in multiple tissues, including liver and bone. Elevated levels suggest liver disease, Cushing’s disease or steroid therapy.
- Blood Glucose (GLU): High levels can indicate diabetes. Low levels can indicate liver disease, infection or certain tumors.
- Total Protein (TP): The level of total protein can detect a variety of conditions, including dehydration and diseases of the liver, kidney, intestine, or be suggestive of some forms of cancer.
- Complete Blood Count (CBC): A CBC provides detailed information on red blood cell counts, white blood cell counts and platelets. The total white blood cell counts and individual cell counts can indicate leukemia, stress, inflammation or an inability to fight infection. Low platelet numbers can indicate a bleeding problem. In geriatric animals, a low grade anemia indicated by a low red blood cell count can be an early indication of a systemic problem your pet may have that cannot be found anywhere else in laboratory work—this is a very useful screening tool.
In addition to the pre-anesthetic blood profile, the following diagnostic blood tests will help in early disease detection and identification of potential health risks.
- Blood Electrolytes: These values are important in evaluating for various metabolic diseases. It is especially effective for scanning for types of adrenal disease in dogs.
- Amylase/Lipase: Enzymes produced by the pancreas. Elevated blood levels can indicate pancreatic inflammation. Chronic elevations of these values can also indicate disease more indirectly.
- Cholesterol (CHOL): Elevated levels of cholesterol are seen in a variety of disorders including liver, thyroid and kidney disease.
- Thyroid (T4): this is a measurement of the level of thyroid hormone circulating in the blood and is helpful in identifying thyroid disease. Thyroid disease is common in pets from young adulthood to very old. Symptoms of thyroid disease can be as obvious as significant weight loss or gain or as subtle as slight changes in sleep patterns and energy levels. It is easy and inexpensive to treat and can significantly decrease your dog’s quality of life if untreated.