What Diagnostic Tests Your Pet Needs and When

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Pet owners everywhere want their pets to live a long and happy life. Taking the pet to the vet for regular checkups is one of the best ways to achieve this goal. However, for a vet to gain a better understanding of the pet’s health, he or she will need to perform diagnostic tests.


As is the case with human beings, the pets’ outward appearance may not necessarily reveal what is happening inside. However, proper diagnostic tests can help the vet detect and treat a condition before it gets worse. Some of the diagnostic tests your pet needs include:




Fluid Analysis



As the name suggests, a vet takes the pet’s fluids through a series of tests. The fluids, in this case, include joint fluid, urine, and others but exclude the blood. The condition of the fluids can give vital information on the health of the pet. A vet may want to conduct this test to check the protein levels, cell count, color, and clarity of the fluid in question. Vets go for this test when they discover fluid accumulating at a place in the body that it should otherwise not.




Cytology



For this test, a pathologist studies the origin, structure, function, and death of cells in a pet. He or she collects fluid or tissue samples, prepares slides, and observes them on a microscope. Vets can request this diagnostic test if they want to check for cancer in a tumor. They might also do the test to determine if there are infectious agents in the pets. It is possible to also identify microorganisms using cytology.




Clinical Chemistry



Here, a veterinarian takes a sample of the pet’s fluids, usually plasma or serum, and studies its chemical composition. The vet carries out this test to determine if the internal organs are working properly. This test will reveal if a pet is suffering from pancreatitis, diabetes, or other specific disorders. The vet can also use this test to determine if a particular treatment is working.




Hematology



For this test, researchers consider the changes in the blood’s cellular elements when the pet has a disease. The CBC (complete blood count) here determines the types and number of cells in the bloodstream and provides information on clotting, inflammation, and anemia. Vets can require this test on a pet to diagnose infection, anemia, or other blood clotting disorders.




Toxicology



This is the study of poisons and how they affect a pet. A vet will call for this test if he or she suspects the pet has consumed or come into contact with a poison. This test involves analyzing samples for poison identification and determining the extent of damage caused by the poison. For this test, rapid test and identification can save the life of the pet. The vet may ask the pet owner to bring the poisonous substance ingested for proper testing and treatment.




Microbiology



This is the test for viruses, bacteria, fungi, and single-celled organisms. A vet may ask a specialist to conduct this test if he or she suspects a pet has an infection. Some of the tests on the bacteria are used to develop or figure out the antibodies required to eliminate them. The specialist will use the pet’s secretions, fluids, or swabs from abscesses to test the microorganisms.




For more on diagnostic tests for your pets, visit Bridge Park Animal Hospital at our office in Johns Creek, Georgia. You can call (470) 768-8755 to book an appointment today.