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Canine Laboratory Tests For Veterinary Care


WHY IS LABWORK IMPORTANT?

In many cases, the physical exam and knowing the symptoms that have been observed are not enough for us to make a precise diagnosis. Our dogs cannot speak and tell us how they are feeling, labwork can fill in the blanks and uncover issues that are on-going and undetectable otherwise. Many times we are able to detect illness before your dog shows any symptoms.

Cat labwork in The Woodlands

WHEN DOES MY DOG NEED LABWORK?

Routine Labwork

  • Once a year during your dog's annual wellness exam or semi-annual exam, this helps us screen for indicators of early disease.  Early detection is key in giving your pet its healthiest and best life.

Medication Screening

  • Certain medications have side effects that affect your dog's liver and kidneys. These medications can very effective, but it is necessary to monitor your dog's liver and kidney functions to avoid any issues. We run labwork before we put our patients on long-term daily medication, 2 weeks after they have been on the medication in order to make sure all the values stay the same, then lab work is run annually after that. If there are any abnormalities our veterinarian will recommend semi-annual labwork or in some cases prescribe a different medication.

Pre-surgical Labwork

  • There is always a risk associated with anesthesia. In order to minimize risk, labwork is run to evaluate the liver and kidney function before anesthesia is administered. Recent bloodwork can be used as pre-surgical labwork if it was completed no more than 21 days prior to the surgery. Pre-surgical labwork is generally run the morning that your pet is scheduled for surgery in our in-house laboratory.

Diagnostics for Illness and Emergency Care

  • Any time there is something “off” with your pet or they are exhibiting signs of labwork is something all veterinarians in addition to a physical exam. This will allow our veterinarians o to understand the full picture and to rule out suspected conditions that will allow them to focus on a potential diagnosis.

 

TYPES OF LABWORK

Blood Chemistries 

  • Measures certain chemicals in the blood. This tells us about metabolic function or how ell certain organs are functioning. Blood chemistry tests can include enzymes, electrolytes, fats, hormones, proteins, sugars, vitamins, and minerals.

CBC (Complete Blood Count)

  • Tells us your pet has inflammation, infection, or anemia. A CBC looks at red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. and features of blood cells including, type, size, shape, and volume. Abnormalities in these values can indicate certain illnesses and the ability of the blood to clot.

Urinalysis

  • Used to evaluate kidney function by analyzing:
    • appearance
    • color
    • clarity
    • odor
  • Urine Chemistries
    • specific gravity
    • urine ph
    • protein
    • ketones
    • bilirubin/urobilinogen
    • occult blood
  •  Sediment
    • red blood cells
    •  white blood cells
    • epithelial cells
    • infectious organisms
    • crystals
    • lipids
    • other debris

Parasite Screening (fecal test)

  • Intestinal parasites live in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the only way to detect and identify them is by looking at a fecal sample. The fecal exam looks for giardia, coccidia roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Roundworms, hookworms, and giardia are especially dangerous as they can be passed from pets to and people. 

Disease Screening

  • After initial blood work is run other tests can be ordered to help diagnose or rule out other conditions like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, diabetes.

If you feel that your dog is in need of labwork, schedule your dog's appointment today!

Creekside Animal Hospital is proud to be an active member of our community and to serve as your veterinarian in The Woodlands, Tomball, Spring, Conroe, and surrounding areas.

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