Whether it is from a blood sample, fecal sample or growth sample, lab results can provide our veterinarians with a range of information about your pet’s physical condition. There are tests that we recommend annual, such as the Heartworm/Lyme/Erhlichia/Anaplasmosis Test and the Fecal Test. These will help us keep your pet healthy and happy through preventative care.
For our canine companions, our veterinarians recommend annual Heartworm/Lyme/Erhlichia/Anaplasmosis test, which checks for the following:
- Heartworm Disease – Heartworms are transmitted through infected mosquitoes. Heartworms reside in the heart and lungs of the pet and may eventually lead to heart failure and/or death. Most importantly, owners must remember that if a pet develops this disease, treatment is expensive, difficult and complex. Therefore, to prevent this from happening, products like Heartgard, Interceptor, and Sentinel exist. These are once-a-month medications (dog only needs to be on one of them) that help decrease the probability of your pet developing heartworms.
- Lyme disease – This is a tick-borne disease, which is quiet prevalent in this area due to the large deer population. Common symptoms of this disease include lameness, limping, and lethargy. However, a pet may also not show any symptoms at all. Our test, if positive, reveals an exposure to Lyme disease, therefore when this occurs our veterinarians recommend sending a Lyme C-6 test to Idexx laboratories. In a matter of days, they provide us with a value, which will state whether or not the pet actually has Lyme disease. Finally, if in fact the pet does have Lyme disease, then the treatment involves a course of antibiotics.
- Erhlichia/Anaplasmosis – These are both systemic diseases caused by rickettsial bacteria that are transmitted by ticks. The symptoms and treatment are similar to that of Lyme Disease.
For our feline companions, (especially outdoor cats and/or kittens) our veterinarians recommend the FIV/ Feline Leukemia Test, which checks for the following:
- Feline Leukemia – This is responsible for about 1/3 of all cancer deaths among cats. It suppresses the immune system, therefore contributing to other infectious diseases. It also decreases bone marrow production, thus causing deadly anemia. This disease can be spread through social grooming, shared food bowls, bite wounds, etc. Therefore, it is important to vaccinate and test your cat annually to help prevent against Feline Leukemia.
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) – This virus is also spread through cat-to-cat contact and affects thousands of domesticated house cats worldwide. This virus severely debilitates the immune system of the pet, resulting in pale gums, mouth sores, infected wounds, loss of appetite and energy, etc. Testing your pet annually can help you keep an eye on your cats’ health. However, the test only detects whether or not the pet is carrying the FIV antibody, which (if positive) does not necessarily mean the pet has the virus. Unfortunately, not much be done if the cat has the actual virus; there is no effective vaccine to help prevent your pet from developing it.
> Fecal Tests checks for intestinal parasites. If the results are positive then your pet will be treated with the appropriate dewormer.
Our goal is to work together with you to keep your pet healthy at all times, However the unexpected does happen and there will be times that we need to do extensive diagnostics, including blood-work to provide the best pet care possible. In some cases, we have to send the sample out to a lab, but if your pet is sick, it would be more beneficial to get a diagnosis as soon as possible. Therefore, here at the Animal Place we have the capacity to run several tests on-site by using the Idexx VetLab Station. With these analyzers our veterinarians are able to treat your pet faster!