Pet Health

A Brief Look at Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Testing

Everyone who has a pet wants it to live a long and happy life. Taking the pet to the vet often for checkups can help with this. But diagnostic tests are needed for a vet to get a better idea of how healthy a pet is. Just like with people, pets may not look like how they feel on the inside. But good diagnostic tests could help the vet find and treat a problem before it worsens. Some of the tests you need to do to figure out what’s wrong with your pet are:

Clinical Chemistry

Clinical chemistry studies how chemicals are put together in a sample. There may also be a need to look into other body fluids. Most of the time, the sample is the blood’s liquid part (serum or plasma). Clinical chemistry tests from places like Western Carolina Regional Animal Hospital are needed to find out how healthy different organs are (kidneys, liver, etc.).

They can help determine what’s wrong with people with diabetes and pancreatitis. These tests can also determine how your pet reacts to therapy.


Cytology is the study of cells, including how they are made, where they come from, what they do, and how they die. Pathologists can tell a vet about how the cells in your pet’s body work. Using a fine-needle biopsy, tissue or fluid samples are taken, and slides are made and stained so they can be peeked under a microscope to see what kinds of cells are there.

Fluid Analysis

The fluid analysis looks at more than just blood (urine, joint fluid, etc.). The experts who look at body fluids work closely with other experts to find out how healthy your pet. Most of the time, when analyzing fluids, scientists look for cells and proteins in the sample. Also, clinical chemistry tests can be done to look for certain substances.


Hematology looks at the red blood cells, white blood cells, and also platelets in the blood and how they change when someone is healthy or sick. The “complete blood count” test is the most common blood test. This test can tell you some basic things about anemia, inflammation, and blood clotting by finding out how many and what kinds of cells are in the bloodstream. If you observe irritation in your pet’s gums, you can perform a search for “pet dental services near me” to determine whether lab testing is necessary.


Histology studies the structure of plant and animal tissues at the microscopic level. Pathologists in histology look at small pieces of tissue to see if they are healthy or sick. Pathologists have looked into the causes and effects of disease and can often figure out why cells or tissues don’t look right.

If your vet finds cancer or another disease that changes the way tissues look, he or she will often send a small piece of tissue to a pathologist.


Microbiology studies bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other single-celled organisms. In a veterinary laboratory, people who study microbiology can use different tests to look for signs of illness in your pet. First, a common method is to grow viruses, bacteria, and fungi and then figure out what they are.


Serology is the examination of blood serum and other body fluids. Most serologic tests measure the number of antibodies present and react to a certain pathogenic bacterium. This is called the “titer.” A lot of antibodies or an increase in the number of antibodies between two samples taken a few weeks apart show that the bacterium has been exposed to the animal and that the animal’s immune system has made antibodies to fight the infection.


The study of how poisons affect animals is called toxicology. Let’s say that your vet from sites like this emergency page thinks your pet has been poisoned, they will take samples for toxicology tests to find out what poison it is, how bad it could be and what measures to take.


Veterinarians use various veterinary technologies to diagnose diseases, track how a disease is getting worse or how well a treatment works, and check healthy animals for diseases. Most veterinary hospitals have a diagnostic laboratory with various tools to quickly check your pet’s health and determine what kind of care it needs. When you notice unusual signs or behavior in your pets, make an appointment with a trustworthy clinic that offers these services.

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