Diagnostic tests are used to better understand how your pet is functioning.

  • Biopsy
  • Blood Tests
  • Cytology


How are biopsies done at your clinic?

Biopsies are often done as a surgical procedure in which a small piece of tissue is taken from a mass or organ and sent to a veterinary pathologist for analysis at the microscopic level, and diagnosis. These are usually done when a veterinarian is looking to determine if a mass is cancerous.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are completed to assess the internal systems of your pet, and give your veterinary team a baseline set of quantitative date to use in diagnostics. Commonly performed blood tests include a complete blood count (CBC), and a chemistry. There are used to look at red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and to assess organ function and electrolyte levels, respectively.

Why is it important to run a blood test?

Largely, it is important to run a blood test as it can be used as a tool for health monitoring and finding early stages of disease. They can also be used by your veterinarian to determine a cause for illness. Finally, they are useful in assessing your pet’s response to a medication or therapy, or whether it is safe for them to go under general anesthesia.

How long do results take?

Results may happen same day, as we have an in-house laboratory. However, some tests require being sent out to another laboratory and may take a couple of business days, to come back.

How do I prepare my pet for blood tests?

Preparation will depend on your pets’ attitude, and stress level when visiting. We suggest fasting them prior to their visit (no food for at least 4 hours) should they need to be sedated for blood collection. If your pet is too stressed during their visit a doctor will discuss next steps with you to reduce their stress.

How often do tests need to happen?

Ideally, yearly testing at their annual exam is preferred ad this allows for a baseline to monitor your pet by. More frequent testing becomes useful as your pet ages and we see increased risks for things like chronic kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism in cats, and a need to monitor liver and kidney functioning in dogs. If your pet is medication or undergoing specific treatments they may also benefit from more frequent bloodwork, which a doctor will discuss with you.


Why would my pet need a cytology done?

There are a few reasons to have a cytology done, which includes if you notice red, itchy, irritated skin or ears, or if there is a concerning mass. They are done to help determine cause, and to decide a treatment plan.

What does a cytology entail?

Performing a cytology involves the veterinarian taking a sample from the affected area and having it analyzed under a microscope to look for things such as ear mites, bacteria, yeast, etc. These can be done through swabs, skin scrapes, or impressions depending on what the area looks like and what is being looked for. The veterinarian may also perform a fine need aspirate, to collect a sample of cells from a mass.

How long does it take to get results?

Results vary on whether the sample needs to be sent to an outside lab or can be assessed in house, timing will be discussed at your appointment.

What if the treatment is not working?

If you find that your pet is not improving, you can book in an appointment to have you pet looked at further. At this time, the veterinarian may speak with you about performing a culture and sensitivity test, which involves taking a sample for analysis and allows us to tailor the treatment plan.

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