Complete Blood Count (CBC) - A complete blood count or CBC evaluates the red blood cells, white blood cells, blood protein and platelets. Information about both the quantity and quality of these cells is determined. Changes in what these cells look like (morphology) or in their number can assist in the diagnosis of many diseases.
Thyroid Function Tests - There are several tests that can be used to measure the level of thyroid hormone in the blood. This measurement is used to diagnose hyperthyroidism in cats (excessive thyroid hormone production), hypothyroidism in dogs (inadequate thyroid hormone production) and to monitor response to treatment.
Serum Bile Acid Test - This test is used to evaluate liver function. We may use this test to monitor progression of disease, response to treatment or as a diagnostic aid.
Serologic Test - These tests can be performed on blood serum to detect the presence and/or number of antibodies against certain organisms or certain parts of the organism itself. The most common serologic testing performed at our hospital for routine health screening in dogs is the heartworm test and Lyme antibody test. In cats the most commonly screened for, is feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus.
Cytology - Cytology literally means "the study of cells". This test is used to help determine the cause of masses, lumps, bumps, discharge, skin abnormalities, organ abnormalities and changes in or abnormal body fluids, for example. Cells are obtained via fine-needle aspiration, impression smear, swab, skin scrapings, or - centesis (acquiring fluid from a body cavity, organ or joint space). These cells are then stained and examined under a microscope. In many cases, a diagnosis can be made by examination of cells alone. Occasionally, adequate numbers of cells cannot be obtained for a cytological diagnosis ( the cells don't exfoliate or come out, blood contamination, etc.) In this case, either further sampling or a different test may be recommended (such as biopsy).
These are examples of some of the more commonly performed diagnostic and/or screening tests. There are many other types of tests that we can perform when indicated to help in diagnosing, treating and managing disease.