Canine Care: Veterinary Laboratory Tests

You’re not alone if you’ve ever felt a little overwhelmed at your dog’s annual vet visit. When your veterinarian provides you with a lengthy list of tests to choose from, it can be extremely distressing. You may be apprehensive about prioritizing the incorrect tests and neglecting the most important ones. And totaling the items on the list could result in an expensive bill. Most dog owners are eager to spend top dollar to safeguard their dog’s health, but is this a necessity? Whether it’s your dog’s first veterinary appointment or a yearly checkup, come prepared with a list of essential tests your veterinarian should do based on your dog’s health.

Clinical Chemistry

Clinical chemistry is the study of the chemical composition of a sample. Other body fluids may also be examined, though the sample is typically the liquid component of blood (serum or plasma). Clinical chemistry tests are important for determining the functionality of various organs (kidneys, liver, etc.). They can aid in the diagnosis of diseases such as diabetes and pancreatitis. These tests may also monitor your pet’s therapy response.


Cytology investigates the structure, origin, function, and demise of cells. Pathologists can provide cellular information to veterinarians. To determine cell types, tissue or fluid samples from a fine-needle biopsy are processed and stained to create slides.

Typically, pathologists will identify cancerous cells and tumors (malignant). Some germs are detectable, and certain yeast varieties have a characteristic appearance, but bacteria must be recognized via microbiological testing.

Fluid Analysis

The fluid analysis analyses bodily fluids other than blood (urine, joint fluid, etc.). Analysts of body fluids work with other specialists at the website to evaluate animal health. Analyzing a fluid for cells and proteins. Additionally, compound-specific clinical chemistry testing is feasible.


Hematology studies healthy and diseased red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. CBCs are the most widespread blood test. This test analyzes the number and types of blood cells, anemia, inflammation, and coagulation.

Anemia can be diagnosed using the red blood cell count, size, shape, and hemoglobin concentration. Counting the types of white blood cells suggests inflammation, which an infection may cause. Platelet changes detected during a CBC may indicate clotting disorders.


Histology is the analysis of the microscopic anatomy of plant and animal tissue. Histologists (pathologists) assess the health of microscopic tissue samples. Pathologists investigate disease and may frequently explain abnormal tissue structures or cells.

If your veterinarian finds cancer or other tissue-altering diseases, little tissue samples are sent to a pathologist.


Microbiology studies bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other unicellular organisms. A veterinary diagnostic lab can undertake a variety of infection testing. It is common to cultivate and identify bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Tests can establish which antibacterial drugs are effective.

Antibodies or other chemicals can identify difficult-to-cultivate pathogens. It is possible to culture germs from your pet’s blood, urine, feces, nasal or pulmonary secretions, and wound or abscess swabs.


Serology is the study of plasma and other body fluids. Most serologic tests evaluate the antibody titer against an infectious pathogen. If an animal’s immune system creates antibodies against microorganisms, it has been exposed to them.

There are many serologic test kits available. Internal and external laboratories frequently utilize test kits for heartworm disease, feline leukemia virus infection, Lyme disease, and infectious horse anemia.


Toxicology is the study of toxins and animals. If your veterinarian believes your pet has been poisoned, toxicological tests will identify the poison and its effects. Common poisons are simple to recognize.

Rapid poison identification can rescue your pet. Occasionally, samples are sent to an independent laboratory that can accurately test for a broader range of toxins. Your animal hospital in Lithia Springs might request a sample if your pet ate anything toxic.


Consult your veterinarian if your dog develops any strange or recurring symptoms, even before his routine or biannual visit. Always consult your veterinarian about any unusual or concerning symptoms, and request that they explain the necessary tests and their rationale in detail. You are your pet’s advocate; therefore, you must grasp the options that promote his health and happiness throughout his life, from puppyhood to old age.


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