Diagnostic Tests for Pets: 6 Most Common Exams

Your vet can tell a lot about your pet’s health from a physical exam, but there are some things that vets can only discover through diagnostic testing. Therefore, veterinarians may recommend diagnostic tests for both healthy and sick animals.

Diagnostic procedures can speed up determining the cause of illness in pets. Therefore, your pet can receive treatment and restore health in less time. Here are the most common diagnostic tests and why you should get them done regularly to ensure your pet’s optimal health.

The Most Common Pet Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic testing is used to examine your pet’s internal organs and systems to either find diseases early on or to confirm diagnoses that have been suspected based on your pet’s symptoms. Find out why keeping your pet healthy is important and what diagnostic tests are commonly recommended.


When you come in for an appointment, you may be asked to bring a sample of your pet’s urine. This is because, like blood, urine can provide important information about your pet’s health and urinary health. This includes their bladder and kidney function and condition. A vet surgeon may perform surgery in case your pet needs one.

Blood Testing

Your pet’s blood can reveal a wealth of important details about their health and condition. Some diseases and conditions will show signs once the animal is very sick. Nevertheless, their blood may reveal illness much earlier. Multiple blood tests will be performed, including a complete blood count, blood chemistry profile, and platelet count.

Fecal Testing

Most owners are advised to have their pets’ feces tested twice a year. The primary purpose of this is to look for intestinal parasites like hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms. They are parasites that live in your pet’s digestive system and cause illness and discomfort. When a sample is examined under a microscope, tiny pieces of the worms or their eggs can be seen, making them fairly simple to identify.

Blood Pressure Measurement

One of the most common veterinary diagnostic tests includes blood pressure measurement. Blood pressure should be measured in dogs and cats with clinical signs or clinicopathologic changes related to the above organ systems, such as acute blindness, renal failure, and seizures, as well as in animals with systemic diseases such as sepsis, which can cause hypotension.

Skin and Ear Testing

One of the most common types of veterinary patient complaints is related to the skin or ears. Many are related to food or environmental allergies, but there are several other causes. Taking a swab or light scrape of the affected area and then looking at it under a microscope can help your veterinarian diagnose the problem faster and determine the best treatment.

Heartworm Testing

Heartworms are another type of internal parasite, but unlike other types, vets cannot detect them through a fecal exam. This is because they reside in the blood vessels of the heart and lungs instead of the digestive system.

Heartworms, transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes, can be fatal. Even if your pet is on heartworm medication, regular testing or cat and dog vaccinations are recommended. Your pet has a better chance of recovering from heartworms if you catch the problem as soon as possible.


Routine preventative testing can help you monitor your pet and detect diseases and underlying issues early on. When you bring your pet in for a checkup, your veterinarian may recommend specific tests or treatments to diagnose or treat any ailment and ensure your pet’s health. Prevention is essential for your pet’s future health.


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