What are all these tests for?

This is a short list of tests that the doctor may suggests to help keep your pet healthy and happy!

CBC:

This is short for a Complete Blood Count. It provides detailed information about your pet’s red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets. The total WBC count and types of WBCs can indicate infection, leukemia, stress, inflammation, or an inability to fight infection. Platelets tell us how well the blood can clot. RBCs indicate the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.

Serum Chemistry

These tests show the levels of various enzymes, electrolytes, hormones, and other chemicals present in the blood. These levels are used to assess the function of the liver, pancreas, kidneys, and other organs.

Urinalysis

The urine contains byproducts eliminated by the body. Abnormal levels can indicate diseases such as diabetes or renal failure. It can also show infection or crystals.

EKG

An electrocardiogram is a printout showing the electrical activity of the heart. Abnormal rhythms and heart rates can be detected using this tool.

Chest Radiographs

Radiographs (X-rays) can help the doctor assess the heart and lungs. An enlarged heart may alert her to a cardiac problem. Tumors in the lungs could also indicate problems elsewhere in the body since many types of malignant cancers will metastasize (spread) to the lungs.

Ultrasound

This is another tool for “looking inside” your pet’s body without performing surgery. Abdominal structures (liver, kidney, spleen, intestine, bladder, prostate, etc.) can be visualized on the screen and abnormal tissue of tumors can often be seen.

Vaccine Titers

In the past, vaccine manufactures have recommended annual vaccinations for our pets. Veterinarians, with no other data to support a different protocol, have followed these recommendations. One of the benefits of an annual vaccine visit is that your vet gets a chance to examine your pet each year. This can help lead to prompt diagnosis and treatment of diseases that may otherwise have gone unnoticed by you. Recent studies, however, have shown that over vaccinating your pet can lead to various health problems. Auto-immune disorders, allergies, digestive problems and tumors can be linked to excessive vaccination. Titer test are now available that can detect the presence of antibodies in the blood. If the titers show adequate protection it is not necessary to vaccinate your pet for that particular disease.