Laboratory Testing |
Laboratory testing is an essential part of the evaluation of your pet's medical function and necessary for most diagnoses. A patient's blood provides an informative window into their inner workings. We employ only licensed, experienced, lab staff, utilize human laboratory equipment and analyzers, to process samples in our facility. This allows us to diagnose your pet's problems quickly and accurately. Here's a review of the more common laboratory testing we perform.
Complete Blood Cell Count: A Complete Blood Count or CBC helps us to evaluate the red and white blood cell numbers for evidence of anemia or infection. This may also include analysis of a blood smear to review the types, conditions, and numbers of different types of cells. A CBC also tests for anemia, infection, inflammation and overall healthiness of the blood cells. It also evaluates the number and type of cells in circulation. White Blood Cells help fight infection or inflammation. Red Blood Cells carry oxygen to the tissues.
Platelet count and Reticulocyte Count: These types of counts allow us to see if a pet is able to regenerate their body's blood supply from the bone marrow. A licensed, experienced technician evaluates all blood smears and then the attending veterinarian also reviews the slides to look for evidence of toxic change or abnormalities.
Blood Chemistry Profiles
There are different types of blood chemistry panels that a veterinarian can order that include different tests, depending on the suspected problem or age of the pet. Separate panels with separate referenced normal values are run for each different species of animal that we evaluate.
General Chemistry with Lipase Profile:
This is the most used, and most comprehensive chemistry panel (group of serum tests that are associated with each other) that allows us to provide evidence for organ dysfunction such as; liver or kidney disease, hormonal diseases such as diabetes, which can be readily diagnosed with glucose blood testing.
This chemistry panel is used to establish our patient's baseline of normal perimeters and screen surgical patients for vital organ function. The is panel is the screener used for young animals about to undergo elective surgery and the testing establishes baselines of normal function for that patient as well as flags potential problems prior to surgery.
This group of tests helps evaluate various functions and health of the liver. Decreased liver function, inflammation, infection and neoplasia (abnormal growth of cells) of the liver and gall bladder may be detected by one or all of these tests.
These tests monitor the function and health of the kidneys. This serum profile is the most helpful and sensitive for detecting kidney disease when combined with a urinalysis.
These tests are abnormal when there is something wrong with the pancreas or carbohydrate metabolism (examples are diabetes mellitus and pancreatitis).
Electrolyte Profile:This profile ests for balance of the bodies trace elements that promote normal function of the heart, liver, kidneys and other organs.
URINALYSIS is a simple testing technique to gain a large amount of information on your pet's urinary tract system and metabolic function.The urinalysis examination assesses the health and function of the entire urinary system. It is especially important in older animals to help in early detection of kidney disease. While some serum chemistries help evaluate kidney function (BUN, Creatinine, etc.), much more information is obtained when a urinalysis is done at the same time. The urine sample is tested for several chemical components (glucose, protein, blood and more), as well as any cells (WBC, RBC, epithelial, etc.) and crystals.
FECAL ANALYSIS: We use the preferred centrifugation technique for the gold star methodology for intestinal parasite testing. The test then involves reviewing a slide for microscopic ovum (eggs) identification of the parasite or the tiny one-celled parasites. The fecal analysis tests the sample of stool for hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, tapeworms, coccidia, Giardia and other intestinal parasites. Overgrowth of bacteria or other oddities can also be identified leading to an answer for a problem observed.
BACTERIAL CULTURES AND SENSITIVITIES allows us to find and isolate evidence of bacterial infection, identify the organism(s) and then with further culture and testing which available antibiotics is best to treat the patient with just the right antibiotic that will inhibit growth and cure the infection.
VIROLOGY: We perform tests for Feline Leukemia, Feline Infectious Anemia (Feline AIDS), and Canine Parvovirus to determine if the patient has contracted one of these diseases. We also able to test blood for antibody titers for specific viruses to determine if antibodies are present to provide therapeutic level to protect the pet from disease.
OTHER TESTS THAT ARE AVAILABLE INCLUDE: testing for Brucellosis canis (in dogs used for breeding), Ethylene Glycol (antifreeze poisoning), Pregnancy (Canine only), Progesterone (for determination of breeding cycle in dogs), and Coagulation, and PIVKA for warfarin toxicity (Rat Poison) and DNA testing to determine the genetic make-up of our canine patients of mixed breed ancestry. For Heartworm detection, blood serum is tested for the presence of heartworm antibodies on an annual or biannual basis. Whole blood can also be examined in anemic animals for other parasites, such as Babesia, or Hemobartonella. These tests are completed each day to aid in a rapid diagnosis of a pets condition.
Because diagnostic testing is such an important part of the diagnosis and treatment of our patients, the Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center maintains a modern, fully equipped, in-house laboratory staffed by experienced licensed veterinary technicians. Our laboratory provides our doctors with prompt results 7 days a week and on holidays. Many regional animal hospitals use our laboratory facilities for results for their patients via our courier service for same day results--- a demonstration of trust and confidence we never take for granted.