When a pet is sick, we all want to discover the source of the illness as soon as possible. That is why diagnostic skill and technology are an important part of our veterinary practice at Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital.
Laboratory Tests for Pets
Most dogs and cats receive basic laboratory tests at every wellness visit, as well as when they are sick, injured, or having a surgical procedure.
In a healthy animal, we may run laboratory tests such as:
- CBC (complete blood count) to measure the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, to help diagnose infections and disease
- Chemistry panel to measure electrolytes, enzymes, and chemical elements, such as calcium and phosphorous levels, to determine the condition of internal organs
- Urinalysis to test the urine for substances such as protein, sugar, white blood cells, or blood, to diagnose urinary tract infections, diabetes, dehydration, kidney problems, and more
If your pet becomes sick or injured, we use these and other laboratory tests to confirm or rule out diseases or to determine how a patient is responding to treatment.
When a patient requires surgery, we perform certain screening tests to identify any risk of complications for anesthesia. Surgery screening is recommended for patients of every age and health status.
Veterinary Diagnostic Tools
You may see our veterinarians using a few common tools at your pet’s exam. These tools are:
- Microscope—Providing up to 1,000-fold magnification, we can take a detailed look at all kinds of things including blood cells, skin scrapes, ear smears, urine samples, and more
- Stethoscope—An essential tool and a part of every physical exam, this allows us to listen to the lungs and heart and tells us a great deal from how they sound
Read more or listen to this podcast about irregularities of the heart, as heard through the stethoscope.