We have in-house laboratory equipment for the rapid assessment of your pet's health condition/status. We have relationships with several outside laboratories to which we may send your pet's blood for analysis. We have the ability to get very accurate, next-day results with many of these laboratories.
Blood monitoring is a very important tool in diagnosing your pet's illness. We also recommend baseline bloodwork in healthy patients prior to anesthesia, for medication monitoring and as a proactive screening tool. Our senior patients are more at risk for developing many different health problems. We can detect minor, early changes in your pet's bloodwork and begin treatment or make other recommendations early in the course of disease so that your pet may live a happier, healthier life.
Complete Blood Count (cbc): This blood test analyzes the cells in your pet's blood. It measures the amounts of red blood cells (rbc), white blood cells (wbc) and platelets. It may tell us if your pet could be anemic, have an infection, inflammation, immune problems, cancer (neoplasia).
Chemistry Profile: This test allows us to measure the amounts of many different substances in the blood in order to determine more information regarding your pet's organ functions, protein, electrolytes and more.
ALT (alanine transaminase): This is a liver enzyme. It is a measure of liver cell (hepatocyte) function and it is also found in muscle. Elevations occur with cellular damage, congestive heart failure, anticonvulsant drug use, hyperthyroidism in cats, and cancer (neoplasia).
ALP (alkaline phosphatase): This is another liver enzyme which indicates the health of the biliary tract but is also found in bone, intestine, and kidneys. Elevations can be associated with biliary duct obstructions, bone disease, young growing pets, corticosteroid use, fatty liver disease and cancer (neoplasia).
Bilirubin: This is another name for bile, which is a by-product of the liver. Blood elevations of bile can indicate bile/biliary duct obstruction, liver disease, and also hemolysis (breakdown of the red blood cells (rbcs)). Elevated bilirubin will often cause jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin.
BUN (blood urea nitrogen): This is a by-product of the kidneys which is produced by the liver. If the BUN is elevated, that means that the kidneys are not able to filter and excrete the BUN in the urine. Also, if the liver is not functioning well, then the BUN will be low. With kidney disease, the elevated BUN can also cause your pet to feel sick to his/her stomach and vomit or not want to eat.
Creatinine (creat): This is also a by-product of the kidneys. It is produced in the muscle and can become elevated with severe muscle damage as well as with kidney disease.
Calcium and Phosphorus: These are two substances which balance each other in the body. They are utilized in muscle function, bone function, kidney function and a host of other uses. Abnormalities could indicate a problem with the parathyroid gland in the neck, which regulates the calcium/phosphorus balance. Abnormalities could also indicate a problem with the kidneys, adrenal glands as well as many other problems.
Electrolytes (Sodium (Na+), Potassium (k+), and Chloride (cl-)): These electrolytes are involved in nearly all body functions! Abnormalities could indicate kidney problems, dehydration, organ failure and are very serious.
Glucose: This is the body's energy source, sugar. It comes from the food that we and our pets eat. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that allows the body's cells to utilize the glucose. If the insulin is deficient or not functioning (as in diabetics), then the glucose cannot be utilized and so it builds up in the bloodstream and is excreted by the kidneys. If our pets are unable to use glucose as an energy source, then they may start to utilize fat and muscle for energy, losing weight and becoming sick.
Proteins: Abnormalities in the body's protein levels are an indication of dehydration, liver disease, inflammatory diseases, infections, poor nutrition, malabsorption.
Using our external laboratories, we also have the ability to perform specialized blood testing to aid in the diagnosis of many, many internal disease processes.
We have quick, in-house heartworm tests. We are currently recommending annual heartworm testing, as recommended by the American Heartworm Society (http://www.heartwormsociety.org/ ).
Our technicians are also well-versed in reading your pet's urine sample under the microscope. This can detect problems such as urinary tract infections, crystals/stones in the urine/bladder, renal/kidney disease, and other endocrine disorders. Urinalysis is a very effective tool at detecting problems that may go unnoticed by owners, but that can cause significant discomfort to your pet.
Our technicians and assistants are trained in the preparation and reading of your pet's fecal samples. This allows us to diagnose internal parasites and bacterial overgrowths.
Why fecal testing?? Our pets live in much closer contact with the earth and ground than us and are exposed to many of the parasites that live there. These parasites can cause bowel problems, weight loss, anemia and failure to thrive. Many of these parasites can be transmitted to humans!
Now we have digital radiology capabilities in our office! This allows us to obtain x-rays of your pet quickly and efficiently. We also have the ability to send the images that we obtain to local or national board certified radiologist and have them immediately looked at. This way we can get your pet the care he needs as soon as possible!
By expanding our dental services, we also now have digital dental radiology in house. It is nearly impossible to get high quality images of tiny tooth structures in our small animals with large x-ray equipment that cannot be moved and positioned in relation to a cat or dog's mouth. We can now use our movable x-ray tube to get immediate, high-quality digital images of your pet's mouth, just like the x-rays your dentist gets of your mouth. There is a lot going on under the gumline, where our eyes cannot see and it's so important to be able to get a complete assessment of your pet's mouth before recommending or performing surgery on your pet's mouth.
We are able to obtain samples from your pet for diagnoses of ear conditions, skin conditions and more. We can obtain samples from your pet's skin masses with a needle and submit it to our external lab for analysis. If we surgically remove a mass or lesion from your pet, we can also send it to an external lab for analysis.