Reading symptoms in animals can be difficult, especially since pets have a natural tendency to disguise or hide their pain. For this reason, you may need professional help with understanding your pet’s condition. Our veterinary staff at Safe Harbor Animal Hospital in Pensacola, Florida, are here to help you determine the source of the problem. Sometimes, our vets may request lab tests to reveal the presence of certain illnesses or diseases, as well as rule others out. Lab results are often the best way to determine any risks for complication.
Safe Harbor Animal Hospital is committed to helping you get a complete understanding of your pet’s health. Our clinic is equipped with an in-house lab. This allows us to run tests within our hospital, saving valuable time and returning results more quickly to improve diagnostic and treatment times.
Lab tests provide us with important information regarding:
Kidney, liver, and heart functions
Red and white blood cell counts
Blood sugar levels
By identifying these diseases and their symptoms via lab testing, we can develop a treatment plan up front, thereby increasing the chances of effective treatment and long-term health for your pet.
Why do we recommend preventative testing for all of our patients?
One in ten dogs develops diabetes.
Overweight cats have a greater chance of developing diabetes.
Kidney disease occurs in one in every ten dogs and one in every three cats.
The fifth leading cause of death in dogs is liver disease.
Bringing your pet in for preventative testing allows us to determine your pet’s regulated health baseline. From there, we will be able to detect any changes and possible developing diseases as you bring your pet in for subsequent checkups.
Blood & Lab Tests for Pets
Even when your pet is young or completely healthy, your vet may recommend running tests to establish baseline health values. Establishment of baseline values allows your veterinarian to better diagnose changes and early development of disease as your pet ages. Early detection increases the effectiveness of the treatment plan implemented. Preventative and diagnostic testing is an important component in giving your pet a long and healthy life.
Some of the most common preventative and diagnostic lab tests are:
Blood Chemistries: This test evaluates organ function, electrolyte levels, and levels of hormones among others. Vets find these tests useful when evaluating the health of older pets or pets who take medications for chronic conditions. Pets showing signs of vomiting or diarrhea, or which have been exposed to toxic substances, will also require blood chemistry tests.
Complete Blood Count: A CBC gives a count of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in your pet’s blood, allowing us to assess the vigor of your pet’s immune system. CBC tests look at your pet’s blood clotting ability, levels of hydration, immune system response, and any signs of anemia or infection. Your vet may request a CBC test for pets with symptoms of fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness or vomiting.
Heartworm Test: Our vets recommend Heartworm testing as part of your pet’s annual wellness exam. They should be tested even if they take a preventative Heartworm medication. If your veterinarian suspects your pet has heartworms, he or she may also request the test as confirmation. In either scenario, a blood sample will be required to determine results and necessary treatments.
Additional tests performed in our in-house lab include:
Blood coagulation tests
Feline leukemia tests
Feline AIDS test
Dermatology testing (skin mites, ear swabs, skin bacteria and fungal)
Complete intestinal parasite and analysis testing
We also offer glaucoma testing, blood pressure tests, EKG testing and more.
If you have questions about our laboratory and diagnostic services in Pensacola, Florida, call Safe Harbor Animal Hospital today!