Upper West Side Feline Laboratory Diagnostic Services
Our Veterinary Laboratory Staff Delivers Reliable Testing Using Top Quality Technology
Laboratory tests are an essential part of every veterinary practice. They aid us in diagnosing illnesses in cats that are sick, and they help us confirm that a cat that appears healthy during a physical examination is indeed healthy. As in human medicine, early detection of health problems is the key to keeping cats healthy. Practicing prevention is always better than treating a disease already present. In the long run, preventative medicine improves quality of life and is more cost effective than waiting for problems to appear. A well-educated and proactive owner is the first step in optimal cat care.
Laboratory Diagnostic Services We Offer
A thorough physical exam and accompanying diagnostic tests may be recommended in middle aged and in elderly cats to ensure that the early stages of disease are discovered and appropriate preventative measures and treatment plans are instituted.
The most common diagnostic tests performed include:
Complete Blood Count (CBC Panel):
In geriatric patients, anemia is not an uncommon finding. Red blood cell morphology can help determine if the anemia is acute, chronic, or related to a neoplastic (cancerous) condition. The total white count is also noted, and increases may indicate inflammatory or infectious conditions.
The biochemical profile is a very valuable test. During this test, blood is drawn from your cat and then tested for various substances that provide information about the health status of the liver, kidneys, pancreas, blood sugar, and electrolytes.
Hyperthyroidism is a very common problem in older cats. The most common signs of hyperthyroidism are increased appetite and weight loss. Our veterinarians use blood tests and ultrasound to diagnose this issue.
Analysis of the urine can help detect underlying urinary tract infections, kidney problems, and diabetes. If the urinalysis is suggestive of a urinary tract infection, a urine culture may be recommended to confirm the infection and determine which antibiotics would be the best to prescribe.
FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) & FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus) Testing:
Both of these viral diseases may cause suppression of the immune system and can contribute to many other systemic illnesses. In cats that are at risk of exposure to these viral diseases (i.e. outdoor cats or cats that have contact with other cats) routine blood testing is recommended. If the viral status of a cat is unknown, testing is also advised. Cats who have previously tested negative and have had no possible exposure to other cats may not need this test.
Depending on physical examination and initial lab work findings, common additional testing might include:
Blood Pressure Measurement:
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is an often overlooked and underdiagnosed problem in veterinary medicine. Usually, hypertension is associated with other disease conditions such as kidney failure and hyperthyroidism.
Aspiration of Skin Masses:
A common finding on the physical examination of older cats is small masses in the skin. Many times, these are benign tumors or cysts that grow slowly and rarely cause problems. However, cats do have a higher incidence of malignant skin tumors than dogs. Because of this, it is usually recommended that skin tumors on cats be aspirated (a needle is inserted into the mass) and the recovered cells be evaluated microscopically for evidence of malignancy. The size and location of all masses should be recorded in the cat’s medical record so that changes in previous masses or the development of new masses can be noted.
Radiographs (x-rays) may be advised based on the initial tests or physical exam findings. Chest radiographs are part of a cardiac work-up if a heart murmur is found and as a screening test for cancer. Abdominal radiographs might be needed if organ dysfunction is suspected or organ enlargement or masses are detected during the physical examination.
Cardiac (Heart) Evaluation:
If there is indication of potential heart disease, such as a newly discovered or worsening murmur or a persistent cough, a more complete cardiac evaluation is needed. Chest radiographs, an EKG, and an echocardiogram will assist with better definition of the extent and cause of potential cardiac disease and whether treatment is necessary.
Abdominal ultrasounds offer a non-invasive method of visualizing masses and organs within the abdomen. Generally, more detail and structure can be obtained with an ultrasound than with radiographs.
Evaluating the stomach and initial part of the small intestines through the use of endoscopy is a valuable diagnostic tool. Endoscopies are used to diagnose gastrointestinal issues.
To speak with a veterinarian about the laboratory services we offer, call (917) 242-4235 today!
We provide the latest in medicine with an emphasis on sound laboratory and imaging diagnostics, pain minimizing, and discomfort alleviation.
Extensive Feline Exams
We recommend that every feline get examined twice a year, not just when health problems arise. We want your cat's health to be top of mind year long.
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Our doctors develop tailored health plans for every stage of your cat's 9 lives.
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