Sometimes a lab test can reveal important information about your pet that a physical exam may not detect. Animals might not show outward signs of physical illness, so lab testing can be used to find out what your pet won’t or can’t tell us. A veterinarian may recommend lab tests on the following conditions:
Basic lab tests such a CBC can rule out certain diseases or deficiencies and can also provide important baseline information. If your pet ever starts to show physical symptoms, having a baseline can help us differentiate what’s abnormal from what is your pet’s baseline.
If your pet has signs or symptoms of an illness, lab testing can tell us things that the physical test can’t. Even if your pet shows no signs of illness, sometimes they may act abnormally because something is going on in their body that they can’t communicate.
Before any procedure, it is important to check the status of the liver and kidneys in order to use the safest dose of anesthesia. In older or sicker pets, a blood test can also reveal the level of risk involved in surgery.
It’s usually recommended for senior pets to have blood tests periodically to watch out for any abnormalities so that they can be treated as quickly as possible.
If your pet is taking medication (for example, an anti-inflammatory, thyroid, heartworm, anti-seizure, blood pressure, diuretic, or urinary incontinence medication), they may need regular blood testing to ensure that they are receiving the correct dosage and that it is not causing any other unwanted side effects.
Lab testing can help us identify the condition of your pet’s immune system and overall body system functioning. For example, a CBC (complete blood count) test can identify the shape, condition, and count of white and red blood cells and platelets in a given sample. Looking at white blood cells can give us information about your pet’s immune system, and looking at red blood cell count can tell us about oxygen carrying capacity. Blood Chemistries can also identify the presence and amount of the following:
These tests can tell us what might be causing your pet’s symptoms, but they can also detect problems in specific organs or complex body systems that might show no symptoms at all.
Some other common lab tests include:
At Brookhurst Animal Medical Center, we understand that your pet is a member of your family, and we want to ensure that they receive the highest level of care. If you have any questions or concerns about our lab testing, feel free to call our office or ask your vet at your next appointment.