In-House Diagnostics

  • CBC (Complete Blood Count): This test looks at the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The CBC identifies whether there is anemia, inflammation, or infection present. It can also indicate immune system response and blood clotting ability.
  • Chemistry Panel: This test looks at a multitude of parameters that can show internal organ function. It checks blood glucose, kidney function, liver function, blood protein levels, important minerals like calcium and phosphorus, electrolytes, fat metabolism and pancreatic enzymes. 
  • TT4 (Total T4): This test measures the total thyroid 4 level. This can tell us if a patient is hypothyroid (common in dogs) or hyperthyroid (common in cats) and helps us monitor if they are on thyroid hormone treatment. 
  • Urinalysis: This test can tell us all kinds of information. We can check for urinary tract infections, but we can also pick up early signs of kidney malfunction (much earlier than what shows up on bloodwork!), and check for other things in the urine like protein, glucose, ketones, bilirubin (which will show up with liver disease before liver blood values will change) and sometimes even bladder cancer cells. 
  • Intestinal Parasite Screen: This test checks for things like roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia, and more. 
  • Heartworm Tests: We have two types of heartworm tests depending on your dog(s)’ exposure. One just checks for heartworms. The other checks for heartworms as well as tick borne diseases (Lyme, Anaplasma and Ehrlichia)
  • FeLV/FIV/HW Feline Snap: This test checks for Feline Leukemia Virus antigen, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Antibody and Heartworm Antibodies (yes! Cats can get heartworms too!). FeLV is extremely contagious cat to cat and the average lifespan they live after diagnosis is no more than 5 years so it is imperative that we know if a new cat or an outdoor cat (even if just hanging out on the porch) has contracted the virus. FIV is also contagious (although less so) and affects their immune system the rest of their lives so it’s important to know. Although heartworms in cats are rare, they are a common cause of coughing in cats and feline “asthma” and can cause sudden death. 
  • Giardia Antigen Snap: This test is run because it can be tricky to see Giardia all the time on our regular fecal screens, but this test will pick up Giardia even if we can’t see it. This is important to know considering it is contagious and can be hard to clear. 
  • Parvo Antigen Snap: This test is run to test a dog for the presence of parvovirus and gives us an answer within minutes which is important to know so treatment can be started immediately considering how deadly this virus is.
  • Leptospirosis Snap Test: This test can show if a dog is positive for leptospirosis (*as long as they haven’t been vaccinated in the last 6 months*) within a few minutes. Otherwise it can take days waiting for the lab testing to come back. This is vital information considering how deadly this disease is and the fact that it is zoonotic (meaning that it can be spread to people too!)

We also offer some unique testing in house that most other GP clinics do not in order to practice top notch medicine for our patients:

  • Clotting Times: we’re able to test PT and PTT times. This can show if a patient’s blood can clot properly. This can indicate things like exposure to certain toxins/poisons, clotting factor diseases, and other problems. 
  • Phenobarbital Levels: a lot of patients that have seizures are on this medication. The blood levels have to be monitored on average every 6 months. We’re able to do this in-house so the results are back in minutes vs days later and we can quickly adjust medication dosage instead of having to wait on results to determine what to fill medication-wise for your pet. 
  • Urine Protein to Creatinine Ratio: This test is under-rated and often under-utilized. If the urinalysis shows a lot of protein in the urine, it can be a sign of significant disease. This UP:C test is also run on urine and determines exactly how much protein and if it’s significant. High ratio levels (especially if a chronic thing) can be a sign of numerous diseases-Cushing’s Disease, Kidney Malfunction, Protein-Losing Nephropathy. There is treatment for this, especially if caught early. 
  • Fructosamine: This test looks at the blood sugar level over a week to two week time period. This is important in pets that are diabetic and it may be problematic to do glucose curves (a curve is always going to be gold standard but sometimes it’s just not doable)-we can use the Fructosamine to help us see how well controlled their blood sugar is. It is extremely helpful in stressed cats. Cats very often will have a spike in blood glucose when stressed, which they almost always are when at the vet. Their glucose levels can get up into the high 200s and even have glucose in their urine. This can look just like diabetes but it isn’t. The best way to tell the difference is to run a Fructosamine level. If it’s completely normal, then we can say we have a stress kitty and not a diabetic. This is extremely important as we definitely do not want to start insulin or treatment on a non-diabetic kitty and we DO want to work on how to decrease stress for future vet visits. 
  • Spec CPL and FPL: These tests check for the Canine and Feline Pancreatic Lipase level. This is how we diagnose pancreatitis. The vast majority of the time (even in emergency clinics), pancreatitis is diagnosed by symptoms or a snap test that just shows that things are normal or abnormal but doesn’t give actual lipase numbers. In order to get the actual Lipase level you have to send the blood out to a lab and wait on those results. These patients are critically ill and time is of the essence. Often we are diagnosing them based on a suspicion or guess and treating accordingly. There are so many things that can cause the same signs so we can make sure that the diagnosis is accurate and it takes 10 minutes to run. We get the actual blood levels that tell us if they actually have pancreatitis and, if needed, we can track the pancreatic values to make sure things are improving properly so we know our patients are healing and getting better. 
  • Canine and Feline NT-proBNP: The NT-proBNP is a biomarker that when elevated indicates increased stress and stretch on the heart muscle. It can help distinguish between a respiratory cough and a cardiac cough. It can indicate worsening cardiac disease in some cases and may catch signs of cardiac disease before a patient is obviously symptomatic. We are often using this biomarker with other tests to create a whole picture of heart function/health in a patient. This is another test where *if* a clinic has this, it is often a snap test that shows normal or abnormal and if you want the actual number (which is really important to know), you have to send it out to the lab. If you have an actively critical coughing patient or a patient going under anesthesia with heart issues, you may need results as soon as possible. We’re able to run a blood test that gives the actual number value of this biomarker. 
  • Cortisol: This is another test that the vast majority of clinics have to send out to the lab for. The blood cortisol level can give us important information, especially when it comes to certain hormonal diseases. Addison’s Disease is where patients don’t make enough cortisol and often present in an emergency crisis situation. Treatment and diagnosis are critically important. We’re able to do both in a quick manner as we can run the appropriate testing in-house for cheaper than most lab costs. We also can run follow-up monitoring levels quickly and for less cost. Cortisol is also used to diagnose Cushings Disease-where the body makes too much cortisol. We can also run the tests to diagnose this disease in-house as well. We’re able to run just a basic Cortisol level, an ACTH stim (the test for Addison’s Disease and maintenance medication monitoring for Cushings Disease) and a LDDS (Low Dose Dexamethasone Test-the test most often run for Cushing’s Disease diagnosis).