When your pet is ill, you want answers fast, and so do we. With a full, modern, in-house veterinary laboratory, we are able to get the answers we need to begin treating your pet immediately. While we occasionally need to work with outside laboratories for specialized testing, we can perform most tests right here at our clinic. And, we use our in-house laboratory not only to help diagnose your pet’s illness, but also for routine wellness screenings, pre-anesthetic evaluations, and monitoring therapy response.
The benefits of an in-house laboratory
Groves Veterinary Clinic offers a cutting-edge, in-house veterinary laboratory with the latest testing technology and equipment, designed to grant pets and their owners the following benefits:
- Faster results
- More accurate diagnoses
- More affordable testing
- Improved emergency care
- Reduced pet owner stress
- Access to pre-surgical blood work
Our in-house laboratory grants many key benefits to your pet and our team, including:
- Quick results — We can get results in minutes rather than days, which is critical for emergency care, pre-surgical evaluations, and drug therapy monitoring, and also allows us to quickly diagnose your pet’s condition, and treat her illness more effectively.
- Less stress — Quick results eliminate your stress from waiting for days for your beloved pet’s test results and health status.
- Reduced expenses — Outside laboratories often charge special processing, shipping, and handling fees along with the cost of their tests, so our in-house laboratory saves you money.
- Latest technology — With the most innovative technology and analyzers in our laboratory, we are able to give your beloved pet the highest quality of care.
Laboratory services offered by Groves Veterinary Clinic
Some services we provide through our in-house laboratory include:
- Fecal testing — Fecal tests are used to check your pet for intestinal parasites, which can cause diarrhea, failure to thrive, and bloody stool.
- Urinalysis — A two-part urine test identifies urine pH and concentration, as well as red and white blood cells, crystals, bacteria, and casts that can indicate infection, inflammation, or urinary tract disease.
- Complete blood count (CBC) — A CBC allows us to check for signs of anemia, infection, inflammation, and clotting issues by providing information about your pet’s total red and white blood cell and platelet counts.
- Chemistry panels — We use chemistry panels to gain information about your pet’s organ function and internal health; for example, a chemistry panel will reveal liver and kidney enzyme values, which show the level of organ function, or the presence of disease processes. A key fact about kidney values—up to 75% of kidney function is lost before blood work shows any signs, which reinforces that routine baseline blood work is vital for every pet, every year.
- Electrolyte panels — Often packaged with chemistry panels so that we need only one sample from your pet, electrolyte panels can grant a wealth of information that can help us reach an accurate diagnosis. Electrolyte panels are used to check for imbalances seen with vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and various diseases.
- Thyroid level testing — Common for older pets, thyroid testing is considered part of the senior or geriatric blood-work package. Dogs tend to suffer from a low thyroid-hormone level and experience weight gain, skin and hair coat changes, decreased activity, and skin infections. Cats’ thyroid levels are more likely to skyrocket, which can lead to excessive hunger with weight loss.
- Pancreatic lipase testing — If we suspect your pet may have pancreatitis, we can measure pancreatic enzyme levels in-house to reach a diagnosis and begin treatment quickly.
- Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation testing — ACTH, a hormone released by the pituitary gland, directs the adrenal glands to release many important hormones. ACTH stimulation testing helps us diagnose adrenal insufficiency (i.e., Addison’s disease) and adrenal overproduction (Cushing’s disease) in pets.
- Phenobarbital levels — Epileptic pets who take the seizure-control medication phenobarbital often require blood phenobarbital measurement to help us determine an appropriate dosing schedule.
- Coagulation profiles — Coagulation testing allows us to ensure your pet’s blood can adequately clot prior to surgery, and helps us diagnose diseases that affect clotting ability.
- Blood gas analysis — Measuring your pet’s blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels helps us manage difficult respiratory conditions and anesthetic cases.
- Heartworm testing — Testing for heartworm disease is critical for cats and dogs, but especially for cats, for whom there is no disease treatment, and for whom prevention is key.
- Tick-borne disease testing — Whether or not your pet is exhibiting illness signs, this test will reveal her exposure to disease-carrying ticks.
- Cytologic evaluation of skin and ear samples — We mostly use these tests to determine if your pet has a skin or ear infection. We can also identify the cell type in a mass with a fine-needle aspirate, where we take a few cells from the mass, stain them, and study them under a microscope.
Our in-house laboratory can meet your pet’s needs during well and critical times. For more information on how our in-house laboratory can benefit your pet’s medical needs, visit our website or call our office.