What Kind of Tests are Done in a Veterinary Laboratory?

Ensuring the health of our pets extends beyond regular feeding and grooming. Veterinary health is pivotal in ensuring that our furry friends lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Among the key components of veterinary health is laboratory testing, which helps vets diagnose and manage various pet health issues. This article delves into the various types of tests done in a veterinary laboratory, their significance, and their role in pet health management.

Demystifying Veterinary Diagnostics

At the heart of veterinary diagnostics are various tests that help identify the health issues affecting pets. These diagnostics play a crucial role in shaping the treatment procedures that the vet prescribes. Understandably, various tests will offer insights into different health issues, providing a comprehensive understanding of a pet’s overall health.

Common Veterinary Lab Tests

Blood Tests for Dogs and Cats

Blood tests are one of the most common procedures in a veterinary diagnostic lab. They can help detect conditions such as anemia, infection, diabetes, etc. This routine check-up includes a blood chemistry panel, which is a detailed examination of the different substances in a pet’s blood. Here are the following most common lab tests:

  • Urinalysis: A urinalysis is another common test used to detect diseases such as kidney disease and diabetes. It provides important information about the pet’s urinary and metabolic system and can highlight any abnormalities.
  • Fecal Test: Through fecal tests, vets can identify parasites and bacteria that may be present in a pet’s gastrointestinal system. If left unchecked, these organisms can cause significant harm to the pet’s health.
  • Biopsy: While not all situations call for it, a biopsy is sometimes necessary to diagnose certain conditions. This procedure involves the examination of tissue or cells under a microscope and is usually performed when cancer is suspected.
  • Cytology: Similar to a biopsy, cytology involves the examination of cells. It is often used in skin infections or tumors and can provide valuable information on a cellular level.
  • Heartworm Test: Heartworm disease can be fatal for both dogs and cats. Hence, regular heartworm testing is paramount. This simple and quick test uses a small sample of the pet’s blood.
  • Allergy Testing: Much like humans, pets can suffer from allergies too. Allergy testing helps reveal what substances may cause a negative reaction in a pet allowing the family to manage these allergies better.
  • Thyroid Testing: Regular thyroid testing is important, particularly for older pets. High or low thyroid hormone levels could indicate several other health issues, including heart disease and obesity.

Advanced Veterinary Laboratory Procedures

In addition to common tests, vet labs also conduct specialized procedures that delve deep into understanding the health problems pets might be facing. These tests often require technical expertise and advanced equipment, but they provide crucial information to guide treating and managing various pet health issues.

Parasite Screening Importance

Parasite infestations can seriously deteriorate a pet’s health. Therefore, regular parasite screenings are important in managing the pet’s health. It helps to recognize and treat a potential infestation before it becomes a major concern.

Emergency and Urgent Care Veterinary

While standard diagnostics conducted at vet labs form a major part of the pet care routine, immediate attention is sometimes required. In crisis scenarios, correct decision-making at an emergency animal hospital may hold the key to your pet’s wellbeing. Feel free to check their website more information.

Urgent Care Veterinary

Health issues in pets do not always conform to normal business hours. It’s reassuring to know that there are urgent veterinary care services to help with immediate health crises that may arise with your pet. A trustworthy emergency animal hospital in Lithia Springs is just what you need for those unpredictable situations.

Veterinary Clinical Pathology

Clinical pathology covers the analysis of bodily fluids such as blood and urine and is an essential part of veterinary diagnostics. It helps to identify conditions such as hormonal imbalances, infections, and organ dysfunctions.

Value of Routine Tests

Routine health checks and common tests form a major part of keeping our pets healthy. These tests, conducted at regular intervals, can help avoid more serious issues by providing early detection and management of health problems. Here are the follwing:

  • Early Detection of Diseases: Routine tests like blood tests, urinalysis, and fecal examinations can pick up early signs of diseases even before the symptoms manifest. This allows for early intervention and treatment, which can significantly improve the prognosis. 
  • Preventive Healthcare: Regular testing helps in evaluating a pet’s overall health and ascertain the efficiency of ongoing vaccinations and preventive treatments. Test results can alert pet owners and veterinarians to any need for changes in preventive care.
  • Establishing Baseline Health Data: Routine checks establish your pet’s baseline health data, which forms an essential part of the pet’s health records. Any notable changes in the pet’s health can be compared to this baseline data, making diagnosis and treatment more efficient. 
  • Monitoring Age-Related Changes: As pets age, they are prone to more health issues. Routine tests help monitor these changes, enabling preventative action and helping your pet enjoy their golden years in comfort. 
  • Detection of Parasites: Tests such as heartworm tests, fecal tests, etc., allow for the detection and timely treatment of internal and external parasites. 
  • Assessing Organ Function: By routinely testing blood or other body fluids, vets can assess the health and function of critical organs such as the liver, kidney, and heart. Any dysfunction can thus be diagnosed and addressed promptly. 
  • Beneficial for Surgical Procedures: If your pet is scheduled for a surgical procedure, routine tests can provide important information about their ability to tolerate anesthesia and the surgery itself. 
  • Necessary for Prescription Changes: Regular testing guides vets in adjusting medication doses or making decisions regarding the continuation, addition, or discontinuation of certain medications. 
  • Peace of Mind: Finally, routine health checks offer peace of mind to pet owners, ensuring that their pet’s health is being regularly monitored and managed. While it might seem simple, routine veterinary testing plays a significant role in ensuring your pet’s health and longevity. By detecting potential problems early, it allows you to take prompt action, safeguarding your pet’s health and wellbeing.


In conclusion, keeping on top of our pets’ health through regular vet check-ups, vaccinations, diagnostic tests, and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can enhance our furry friends’ lives. Remember, it’s always trust and good practice to contact your trusted vet for any health concerns about your beloved pet.