In House Lab Services

Our in house laboratory lets us quickly test blood, urine and fecal samples. Our veterinarians can perform many tests and obtain the results quickly. Many times, we can begin appropriate treatment without waiting. Other tests are sent to an offsite laboratory and results can take a little longer.

Understanding your Pet’s Blood Work

What does all that blood work mean and why does the Pet Hospital of Penasquitos recommend a blood test. The blood test help us determine your pet’s health status and causes of illness accurately, safely, quickly and lets us monitor the progress of medical treatments we recommend. If you have questions, ask our staff members, it is our mission to help you understand our recommendations and for you to be a partner in your pet’s care.

Complete blood count (CBC) – It is the most common test, a CBC gives information on hydration status, anemia, infection, the blood’s clotting ability, and the immune system’s ability to respond.

  • HCT (hematocrit) – Measures the percentage of red blood cells to detect anemia and dehydration.
  • Hb and MCHC (hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration) – Measure hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment of red blood cells (corpuscles).
  • GRANS and L/M (granulocytes and lymphocytes/monocytes) are specific types of white blood cells.
  • WBC (white blood cell) count classifies and measures the body’s immune cells. Increases or decreases indicate certain diseases or infections.
  • EOS (eosinophils) are a specific type of white blood cells that, if elevated, may indicate allergic or parasitic conditions.
  • PLT (platelet count) measures cells that help stop bleeding by forming blood clots.
  • RETICS (reticulocytes) are immature red blood cells. high or low levels help classify anemias.

Serum chemistry profile

These common tests evaluate organ function, electrolyte status, hormone levels, and more.

  • ALB (albumin) – A serum protein that helps evaluate hydration, hemorrhage, and intestinal, liver, and kidney health.
  • ALKP or ALP (alkaline phosphatase) elevations may indicate liver damage, Cushing’s disease, and active bone growth in young pets.
  • ALT (alanine aminotransferase) is a sensitive indicator of active liver damage but doesn’t indicate the cause.
  • AMYL (amylase) elevations show pancreatitis or kidney disease.
  • AST (aspartate aminotransferase) increases may indicate liver, heart, or skeletal muscle damage.
  • BUN (blood urea nitrogen) reflects kidney function. An increased blood level is called azotemia and can be caused by kidney, liver, and heart disease, urethral obstruction, shock, and dehydration.
  • Ca (calcium) deviations can indicate a variety of diseases. Tumors, hyperparathyroidism, kidney disease, and low albumin are just a few of the conditions that alter serum calcium.
  • CHOL (cholesterol) is used to supplement diagnosis of hypothyroidism, liver disease, Cushing’s disease, and diabetes mellitus.
  • Cl (chloride) – An electrolyte often lost with vomiting and Addison’s disease. Elevations often indicate dehydration.
  • Cortisol – A rmone that is measured in tests for Cushing’s disease (the low-dose dexamethasone suppression test) and Addison’s disease (ACTH stimulation test).
  • CREA (creatinine) reflects kidney function. This test helps distinguish between kidney and nonkidney causes of elevated BUN.
  • GGT (gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase) – An enzyme that, when elevated, indicates liver disease or corticosteroid excess.
  • GLOB (globulin) – A blood protein that often increases with chronic inflammation and certain disease states.
  • GLU (glucose) is blood sugar. Elevated levels may indicate diabetes mellitus or stress. Low levels can cause collapse, seizures, or coma.
  • K (potassium) – An electrolyte lost with vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive urination. Increased levels may indicate kidney failure, Addison’s disease, dehydration, and urethral obstruction. High levels can lead to cardiac arrest and death.
  • LIP (lipase) – An enzyme that may indicate pancreatitis when elevated.
  • Na (sodium) – An electrolyte lost with vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney or Addison’s diseases. This test also helps indicate hydration status.
  • PHOS (phosphorous) elevations are often associated with kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and bleeding disorders.
  • TBIL (total bilirubin) elevations may indicate liver or hemolytic disease. This test helps identify bile duct problems and certain types of anemia.
  • TP (total protein) indicates hydration status and provides information about the liver, kidneys, and infectious diseases. T4 (thyroxine) – A thyroid hormone. Decreased levels often signal hypothyroidism in dogs, while high levels indicate hyperthyroidism in cats.

Radiology (X-Rays)

Radiography is a valuable diagnostic tool in veterinary medicine. As we continually strive to offer the highest quality medicine and diagnostic testing, we are pleased to offer digital radiology services as a means of providing excellent care to our patients.

A radiograph (sometimes called an x-ray) is a type of photograph that can look inside the body and reveal information that may not be discernable from the outside. Radiography can be used to evaluate almost any organ in the body, including the heart, lungs, and abdominal organs, as well as the bones.

Radiography is painless, safe, and completely non-invasive, and it uses only very low doses of radiation. Because the level of radiation exposure needed to perform radiography is very low, even pregnant females and very young pets can undergo radiography. Radiographs can be used to evaluate bones as well as the size, shape, and position of many of the body’s organs. The size of organs is important because some medical conditions; such as kidney, heart, or liver disease, can alter the size of these organs. The shape and position of organs can be altered or distorted by certain medical conditions, including intestinal blockage or cancer. Tumors, depending on their size and location, can also sometimes be detected using radiography. Radiography can also be used to diagnose bladder stones, broken bones, chronic arthritis, certain spinal cord diseases, and a variety of other conditions.

Radiographs are an important tool that can help us make a correct diagnosis for your pet. Our radiology service is staffed by caring, skilled professionals who will provide state-of-the-art care with compassion and expertise.

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