LABORATORY TESTS: WHY AND WHEN?
Our clinic is equipped to perform a full array of tests in house. We can run routine blood tests including a test for Canine Heartworm Disease, Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis; a test for Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus; Blood Chemistries and Complete Blood Counts. We can run complete urine analysis including culture for infection, stool checks for parasites and cytology to look at samples under the microscope. Samples for more complicated blood, urine and culture testing are sent to Antech labs and we usually have results in 1-2 days.
We recommend yearly screening of dogs for Heartworm disease and the three most common tick borne diseases found in our area (Lyme, Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis.) We recommend testing all kittens for Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus between the ages of 3-6 months. If your cat goes outdoors, we will recommend re-testing if they have a wound or other signs of intimate contact with unknown cats who may be carriers of these viruses. A full chemistry screen, including thyroid level, should be done on all dogs and cats after age 8. This is when your pet is considered "senior" and we should have baseline blood work to determine if there is anything that we need to pursue further. If everything is normal, this serves as a good indicator as your pet ages. We recommend yearly stool checks on dogs and outdoor cats to test for parasites. There are many diseases that can best be diagnosed using blood tests. We may recommend more specific tests to determine why your pet is showing certain symptoms of illness. There are also medications that, with long term use, can lead to problems we can only diagnose with blood tests. Certain medications require annual or twice yearly testing to be sure your pet is getting the proper dose, both to treat the condition and to avoid unwanted side effects.