Laboratory services are an essential component for assessing your pet’s health and special needs. We provide this through both our in-house and outside labs (which picks up samples 3 times during the day). As such, turn-around time for most results is often within minutes or just a matter of hours. Full service laboratory capabilities include:
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Comprehensive In-House Lab
A blood chemistry panel provides information to the veterinarian about the patient’s internal organs and metabolic health. A chemistry panel typically includes tests that screen for liver disease, kidney disease and diabetes mellitus. Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and chloride levels are also assessed. A chemistry profile may include thyroid tests as well, which can indicate increased (hyperthyroidism) or decreased (hypothyroidism) functions of the thyroid gland. A veterinarian can get a very good picture of your pet’s overall health through a blood chemistry profile.
The CBC (Complete Blood-cell Count)is a blood test that tells the veterinarian about the number and condition of your pet’s red blood cell, white blood cells and platelets. Red blood cells are important in carrying oxygen to all of the tissues of the body. When there are an abnormally low number of these cells, the pet is said to be anemic. White blood cells are important in fighting off disease and infection. Platelets assist your pet in blood clotting. If there are too few platelets your pet may have a problem with blood clotting.
The Heartworm blood test is a test to check for the evidence of the parasite D. immitis, more commonly know as heartworm, in your pet’s bloodstream. The prevalence of heartworms is often dependent on geographical location. It used to be more widespread in our area until most dog owners incorporated heartworm prevention as part of their pet’s well care and maintenance. Preventing heartworm infection is as easy as giving your dog one pill a month! The additional benefit of heartworm preventative medication (Heartgard Plus,Trifexis) is that these medications also eliminate and control some of the most common intestinal parasites.
The Lyme disease (Borrelia) blood test is actually part of the comprehensive heartworm blood test. Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks and this same blood test also detects infection with 2 other tick-borne diseases- Erlichia and Anaplasma. A positive Lyme test does not mean that your pet is sick with Lyme disease. Often it indicates exposure only and serves as a reminder that tick control and prevention should be taken seriously. If your dog’s test is positive for Lyme infection your doctor will explain the steps that should be taken or considered.
The FELV/FIV blood test is done in-house to check your cat for both Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. It is not as widespread in the cat population as many people suspect, however, it is recommended that this test be done on any newly acquired cat especially if you already have a cat(s) in your household.
Urine and Fecal Analysis
A urinalysis will often corroborate and complement blood test findings. If you suspect that your pet will require blood work, please try to obtain and bring a urine sample at the time of the office visit. This is usually easier to accomplish with a dog as compared to a cat. If you need suggestions on obtaining a urine sample, please call our office for guidance.
Stool Examination for Intestinal Parasites is done when there is suspicion that intestinal parasites may have invaded your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. They include but are not limited to:
Puppies and kittens often acquire gastrointestinal parasites from their mothers. Therefore, it is important that you bring a sample of their stool with you when you come to Pet Haven for their first visit so that it can be analyzed for the presence of parasites.
Your pet may have intestinal parasites without showing any clinical signs such as diarrhea. However, other illnesses or factors that stress the body may cause a sudden outbreak of symptoms. Therefore, a stool sample should be analyzed once yearly.
Some gastrointestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms have the potential of infecting people. This makes it even more important to make sure that your pets are properly diagnosed and treated.
If your pet is having diarrhea, please remember to bring a stool sample with you when your pet comes to Pet Haven for an office visit. The stool sample should be the most solid portion available, as this will increase the chances of diagnosing parasites if indeed they are present. Please also keep in mind that other types of infections and factors can also cause diarrhea.
Skin fungal infections are quite common in both puppies and kittens especially those that are adopted from shelters. These infections can be easily transmitted between pets and can also be passed onto family members. This test is non-painful and involves the plucking of a few hairs and placing them onto a special culture medium.
Cytology (also referred to as cytopathology or a smear test) is a study of cells accomplished by smearing samples across a microscope slide for subsequent staining and microscopic examination. In most cases it is done as an aid in diagnosing and treating ear and skin infections. This test is done in-house with the results available within several minutes allowing your veterinarian to choose the most appropriate antibiotic(s) for your pet.
A biopsy (sometimes referred to as histopathology) refers to the study of whole tissues, in contrast to cytology, which examines only cells. Tissues are sent to our outside laboratory and results are generally available within 2-7 days. A biopsy is often done for cancer diagnosis. It allows us to definitely determine if there is a disease and type, and then helps in creating the proper treatment plan for your pet.