There are a number of diagnostic tests that can be used to pinpoint the cause of your pet's symptoms. Today our Upland vets explain some of the diagnostic tests available to help us determine the underlying causes of various health concerns in pets.
Types of Diagnostic Testing for Pets
While diagnostic testing is an important part of human medical diagnosis and treatment, it is even more important when it comes to correctly diagnosing our pet's symptoms. This is due to our pets' inability to communicate how they are feeling, where they are experiencing pain or discomfort, and what type of pain they are experiencing. Diagnostic testing can assist your veterinarian in quickly determining the cause of your pet's symptoms so that treatment can begin.
Below are the types of diagnostic testing for pets that our veterinarians use when caring for the health of our pets.
One of the most common diagnostic tests for pets is blood tests. They are used to assess organ function, electrolyte levels, blood cell counts, and other health issues. Blood tests can be performed as part of your pet's annual checkup or if you are concerned about any symptoms your dog or cat is exhibiting. Annual blood tests are especially important for senior pets, who are more prone to certain diseases and health conditions. These tests are quick and require only a small amount of blood.
Another common diagnostic test for dogs and cats is urine testing. Urinalysis is used to assess kidney function, urinary tract infections, and other urinary-related health issues. Urine tests can be performed quickly using a small sample of urine. These tests are frequently performed using urine collected by pet parents; however, in some cases, a veterinarian may need to collect urine directly from the bladder using a needle.
Fecal tests assist veterinarians in detecting intestinal parasites in dogs and cats that would otherwise go undetected until symptoms appear. These tests entail simply bringing a fresh sample of your pet's stool to your veterinarian's office for analysis.
Heartworm is a potentially fatal condition in pets. Many veterinarians strongly advise annual heartworm testing for dogs and cats. Heartworm testing typically consists of a blood test that detects the presence of antigens produced by adult female heartworms.
X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool for a wide range of health problems, including bone fractures, joint problems, and respiratory problems. They are non-invasive and quick to perform, though pets may require sedation to remain still during the procedure. X-rays are especially useful for assessing the health of elderly pets or those suffering from chronic illnesses.
Veterinary ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic test that produces real-time images of internal organ function using sound waves. This technology is most commonly used to assess the health of the heart, liver, and kidneys. Ultrasound is frequently advised for pets with suspected heart or liver disease, as well as for pregnant pets to monitor the health of developing fetuses.
Endoscopy is a procedure that involves inserting a small camera into a flexible tube. The tube is inserted through an opening in the pet's body, such as the mouth or rectum, allowing the veterinarian to examine the internal organs. Endoscopy is commonly used to diagnose gastrointestinal problems, but it can also be used to diagnose respiratory problems and other organ problems.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.