Guide to Common Lab Testing for Dogs and Cats

As our pets age, several ailments can emerge that cause them to die prematurely. Diabetes, kidney failure, and liver disease are frequent diseases in middle-aged or older dogs. In senior dogs, prostate disease, adrenal gland dysfunction, and bladder stones can be prevalent. Yet, old dogs and young ones are susceptible to these ailments as early as childhood.

Why Are Lab Tests Important?

Analyzing a lab test from your pet is an excellent method of determining any possible issues. For example, although some diseases develop within organs other than the urinary tract, early symptoms can frequently be seen in the urine. The chances of successful treatment and eventual recovery are increased with early detection through testing at the veterinary lab at Best Friends Veterinary Hospital.

Here are some commonly used tests for diagnosing conditions in pets:

Blood Analysis

A screening blood test is a test to determine if a person is suffering from a disease before it becomes painful. So even if your cat or dog is well-behaved, getting a screening blood test is best to ensure they do not have diabetes, kidney disease, or thyroid illness. When adopting a new pet, it’s important to ensure they don’t bring parasites from your previous pets into their new home. In these instances, the most effective action is still to prevent.

The importance of preventive care is still the most effective method of further identifying early signs of a certain disease. Screening tests are required for animals of any age who will be going through surgery.

Urine Analysis

Urinalysis may enhance the results of blood tests and provide extra information that blood testing could not provide. For instance, urinalysis testing can reveal whether glucose or ketones occur (indicating that your pet has diabetes). Urinalysis tests can also reveal the beginning of (albumin) loss via the kidneys, which a blood test cannot detect. In addition, microscopical urine examinations can reveal inflammation, infection, bleeding, malignancy, and bladder stones.

The animal’s urine must be tested at least every six months, in addition to a urine culture, for a complete result.

Fecal Analysis

Dogs and cats alike can be affected by internal parasites. Roundworms (tapeworms), whipworms, hookworms, protozoa, and others, such as toxoplasma and cryptosporidia, are a few examples that are internal parasites. These can be identified with a fecal flotation test (a Fecal float) and fecal antigen analysis in the stool of an animal. Animals suffering from any illness are examined fecally; however, those who suffer from gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and vomiting are tested most frequently. Different diagnostic methods can help identify the root of the symptoms.

Internal parasites should be checked as they can pass to other pets and, sometimes, to humans. Fortunately, modern treatments for parasites are extremely effective.


Radiography uses small quantities of X-ray radiation that allow the doctor to observe your cat or dog’s body. It can help all animals suffering from any condition. However, it is commonly utilized for orthopedic (fractures, dislocations) and soft tissue problems (bladder stones, GI blockages, heart/lung diseases).

Radiography can help in identifying early signs in animals with no specific issues. For example, puppies may be examined based on hip dysplasia. When an animal is anesthetized, sedated, or sedated for other procedures, like spaying, neutering, or dental hygiene, clinics utilize radiographs for a screening procedure. Radiography performed on animal facilities usually discover issues that allow them to offer treatment choices before they develop serious health issues.

Heartworms Screening

When most people think about heartworm, they think of it as a disease that affects only dogs. Heartworm illness may also affect cats; however, it is less common.

Heartworm illness is a potentially deadly ailment caused by heartworm that has invaded the pulmonary blood vessels. Prevention and veterinary care for puppies in Poway are the most effective action againstheartworm disease. Pets must be diagnosed before starting preventative treatments, as serious consequences can emerge if an animal suffers from the disease.


Understanding the significance of common tests in the lab that can be conducted on healthy and sick cats and dogs is essential. Strategically utilizing these tests, you and your veterinarian can significantly extend your cat’s or dog’s lifespan by identifying possible health issues earlier to enable more suitable treatment.