Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory & Specialty Lab Access
Perinton Veterinary Hospital offers our own in-house veterinary laboratory, with access to a specialty laboratory for advanced testing needs and daily courier service. This progressive approach provides our patients with the finest in diagnostic testing.
Diagnostic Testing for Pets
A variety of diagnostic tests can be performed in our laboratory, but there are a few tests that are standard in wellness care and in the early diagnosis of developing health problems.
- Blood tests—Blood work is the most common type of diagnostic testing. A small amount of blood from your pet can provide invaluable information about its overall health.
- CBC—The complete blood cell count (CBC) tells us about the number and condition of your pet’s red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all of the tissues of the body; too many white blood cells can indicate infection; and too few platelets may indicate problems with blood clotting.
- Blood chemistry panel—A blood chemistry panel provides a general picture of overall health in your pet, providing information about the internal organs and metabolic health. A chemistry panel typically includes these tests: screening for liver disease, kidney disease, and diabetes mellitus; assessing electrolyte levels such as sodium, potassium, and chloride; and evaluation of thyroid function.
- Urine analysis—A urine analysis reveals quite a bit about your pet’s kidney function, such as evidence of urinary crystals, urinary tract infection, or diabetes. There are several ways to collect a urine sample from your companion animals. One is to simply catch a sample in a clean container. Depending on the health concerns involved, your veterinarian may prefer to collect a urine sample using a sterile catheter or by performing a cystocentesis, where a sterile needle is passed through the skin and into the bladder. These methods yield a very clean sample and are well tolerated by dogs and cats.
Often, we perform several tests together for a complete picture of your pet’s overall health.
The Need for Lab Tests
Laboratory diagnostic testing is almost always performed when a patient is:
- Preparing for surgery or a dental procedure with anesthesia
- Presenting with symptoms of illness
- Examined after a trauma such as a car accident or fall
- Demonstrating dramatic changes in weight loss, condition, or behavior
- In the senior stage of life
A first-time patient, such as a new puppy or kitten, may require diagnostic lab work if symptoms of illness are present. When we order laboratory testing for your pet, our veterinarians thoroughly outline the need for such tests and explain the results to you.
On the Web
Enjoy this video about blood tests for pets.