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Canine Laboratory Tests For Veterinary Care


Understanding Dog Blood Tests

Dog Laboratory

A blood test or lab test allows us to learn information about your dog's health which can only be found from collecting a sample of blood and having it analyzed. This includes a CBC (complete blood count) and blood chemistries that analyze chemical components in the blood.

A CBC for dogs identifies and quantifies white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets in a given amount of blood. This includes analyzing the shape and condition of the cells for health and functionality. This information is helpful in learning more about your dog's immune system (white blood cells) and oxygen carrying capacity (red blood cell count).Complete Blood Count

Additionally, blood tests for dogs can also identify:

  • Glucose
  • Proteins
  • Electrolytes
  • Cholesterol
  • Endocrine Levels
  • Digestive Enzymes

Because chemicals found in the blood stream can also correlate with specific organs, lab work for dogs can help determine more than just blood count. For example, if dog blood tests show a deficiency in albumin levels, then a veterinarian knows to examine a dog's liver because albumin is produced in the liver

Lab work for dogs also can detect and help identify complex problems with body systems. For example, blood tests for dogs can detect abnormal hormonal-chemical responses to environmental and internal stimuli, which alerts a veterinarian to a potential issue with the patient's endocrine system

So when understood in this way, canine blood tests serve as very valuable tools in a veterinarian's toolkit for helping to detect, identify, diagnose and even treat illness or disease.

When Will A Veterinarian Recommend Dog Blood Tests?

The following situations can result in dog blood work being ordered:

  • On the first veterinary visit: We recommend puppies have blood test to rule out congenital diseases, for baseline information and for pre anesthetic testing prior to spay or neuter
  • During semi-annual wellness exams: This is recommended if your veterinarian suggests it as part of a thorough physical examination because dog blood work, along with other bodily fluids like urine, can help identify conditions the examination portion of a physical cannot
  • If a dog seems not quite right: Canine blood tests are suitable for a dog that is not displaying any overt signs of illness, disease or injury, but is acting abnormal
  • Pre-surgical tests: Dog blood work is used to determine the efficiency of the liver and kidneys, which helps a veterinarian select the safest dose of anesthesia. Tests can also help determine the surgical risk level in infirmed, elderly or injured patients
  • Prior to starting a new medication: Particularly for new medication may be metabolized by the liver or kidney
  • During senior wellness exams: Dog blood tests are usually recommended for mature, senior and geriatric dogs as part of their periodic wellness exams. These are extremely beneficial, as we often see senior dogs return to a more youthful state of being when blood tests identify an issue that can be easily treated

Although our in-house dog laboratory can process any type of dog blood work or culture, some of the most common lab work for dogs we perform are:

  • Urinalysis: We evaluate your dog's urine to reveal hydration status, infections, kidney or bladder disease, diabetes and other health conditions
  • Fecal Exam: We evaluate your dog's stool sample for color, consistency, as well as the presence of blood or mucus. We then examine it under a microscope for intestinal parasites, fungus, or protozoa
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): We analyze your dog's blood to assess features of the blood, including red and white cell count, immunity status, and the measure of hemoglobin, which is the actual substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen
  • Blood Clotting Times: We test your dog's blood for bleeding disorders
  • Blood Chemistries: We identify the status of your dog's internal organs, and also gauge their health before anesthetizing for surgery
  • Cytology: We collect samples of sebum and cellular debris on the skin and in the ears to determine if infection is present. In addition, we may perform needle or core biopsy of lumps or masses on your dog's body to look for cancer cells. cytology

We recommend discussing lab tests for dogs with your veterinarian, in order to make an informed decision as to whether or not your canine friend can benefit from dog blood work. To help you understand more about the specific dog blood tests we perform, click here.

How Our Dog Laboratory Processes Blood Work

In addition to having veterinary staff on duty around-the-clock to handle pet health emergencies, Eastside Animal Medical Center also has its own in-house laboratory. Although this means we can process all kinds of lab work for dogs quickly and reliably, it is in emergency situations, when time is of the essence, our in-house dog laboratory is most helpful.

We can draw, process and analyze dog blood work on the premises, and then have the results we need immediately. This increases the chances that we can determine what the issue is, and then implement a successful medical intervention based on the results. In this way, our dog laboratory allows us to be a proactive and timely partner in your dog's health and care.

 

In order to determine which dog blood tests can best benefit your canine friend, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian today.

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