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Although your veterinarian can gather a great deal of information by examining your pet, there are some signs of disease that can only be detected with laboratory testing. And this doesn’t just apply to sick pets—it’s important to understand what’s going on inside with pets that appear healthy, too. Here’s a breakdown of diagnostic tests we may recommend to ensure your pet is as healthy on the inside as he or she appears to be on the outside.
We check your pet’s stool yearly for signs of intestinal disease and parasites. We examine the stool for outward signs of disease—such as blood, mucus and abnormal consistency or color. We’ll also perform a microscopic stool evaluation which is the best way to uncover the presence of the most common internal parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms or whipworms.
Heartworm and Tick Disease Tests
Each year, we collect a small sample of your pet’s blood to test for heartworms and tick diseases.
Infected mosquitoes spread heartworm disease. Even pets that stay indoors are susceptible, as mosquitoes can slip into homes and bite an unprotected pet. And even if your dog or cat is on heartworm prevention year-round, it’s critical to do this blood test annually, as even one missed or late dose of preventive can put them at risk.
In our area, diseases spread by tick bites are a significant problem. We see many pets infected with Lyme Disease and Anaplasmosis from deer tick bites. Since 90% of infected pets show no obvious early signs when infected, yearly testing is the key to detection and treatment.
Symptoms of some conditions or diseases won’t be evident until your pet is very sick. For that reason we test your pet’s blood periodically, knowing early detection helps prevent or minimize severity of disease. These blood tests tell us whether your pet’s organs, such as the liver and kidneys, are functioning properly. In some cases, treatable diseases such as diabetes can be detected with these tests.