Lab work is essential in veterinary medicine for many different reasons. We use lab tests to determine whether pets are pregnant, have heart-worms, diabetes, organ inefficiencies, infection (in blood or urine), etc. Below describes some of the lab tests and their importance:
For canine patients a heart worm test is done annually to ensure that pet’s have not acquired heart-worm disease. Heart-worm disease is easily spread by mosquito’s and is best prevented by giving your pet a monthly heart-worm prevention. Even those pets that never miss a dose of prevention should be tested yearly as there is a slight chance that if a prevention is missed, if the pet vomits before an oral prevention is fully digested, or if an online prevention has been used that is ineffective the pet could still contract heart-worm disease.
Our feline friends should be tested at some point for Feline Leukemia and Feline Aids. These are two viruses that can be spread from cat to cat during mating, fighting, birth, and in some cases even during casual contact. This test can be done in our office and only requires taking a very small amount of blood. In most cases results are available withing 10 minutes.
Therapeutic blood-work is necessary for pets on long-term medication. This lab-work can serve many different purposes. Some long term medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, over time can adversely affect the kidney and liver. For this reason those functions are monitored a minimum of every six months to catch problems early on should any arise. Patients on medications for seizure control need Phenobarbital levels checked periodically to monitor the level of medication in the blood stream. This is important for two reasons:
If a pet does not have enough medication in the blood stream to be considered in “therapeutic range” the frequency and severity of seizures may increase. In this case the medication’s dose may need to be increased.
If the level shows too much of the medication in the blood the quantity given to the patient may need to be decreased. We never want to give a pet more medication than is necessary to treat any condition.
Our office now offers specialty procedures such as: