Hematology covers tests performed on blood and its constituents. The most common test in this section is CBC (Complete Blood Count). This test provides objective information about the general health status of a patient. CBC gives information about the kinds and numbers of cells in the blood and each cell has different functions. For e.g. WBC or TLC count gives an indication of body’s immune system, RBC count and Hemoglobin give an indication about the oxygen carrying capacity and platelet count measures the clotting capacity of the body. Thus one can get a good idea about about infections, hydration status, clotting capacity, the ability of body’s immune system to respond to stress and the status of recovery in a pet undergoing treatment. CBC parameters collectively can indicate towards some disease condition with certainty - like anemia. Similarly, low platelet count and low TLC count gives a strong indication of Hemoprotozoan infection (Tick fever). So these parameters help in making sense of symptoms that a vet may be seeing in the pet.
Serum biochemistry comprises most non invasive tests to assess the overall health and functioning of your pet’s major vital organ systems like kidney, liver, pancreas, body fluid electrolytes etc. These tests are not always recommended for illnesses - rather these can also help determine the state of your pet’s health during regular wellness visits to your vets and before any surgical procedure too. It is very difficult to reach a conclusion with a single test - so usually biochemistry tests are performed as profiles like K.F.T. (Kidney Function Tests), L.F.T. (Liver Function Tests), Pancreas profiles to assess the status of a particular organ or sometimes for a general health assessment. A set of biochemistry tests is recommended by your vet according to pet’s need. Regular biochemistry testing is also important where the clinical signs are not observed until there is a significant and irreversible damage or malfunctioning of a particular tissue or organ. This problem is most commonly encountered in kidney failure cases - where late detection leaves a vet almost without any treatment options. So In many such cases, early diagnosis and management can improve quality of life and long-term outcomes for pets with chronic illnesses.
Other Routine Tests
Testing under Microbiology section involves detection of organisms that are alive, but are too small to be seen with the naked eye like bacteria, fungus and viruses, either directly by growing them and visualising them or indirectly by detecting their components like antibodies, antigens etc. The most commonly used drugs in veterinary or human medicines are antibiotics which are used to fight against bacterial infections. Because of the irrational and non specific use of antibiotics, resistance against these antibiotics is the most common problem in front of veterinary (and human) practitioners. The antibiotic sensitivity testing is performed to know the drug of choice which is sensitive for that particular infection so that it can be treated in shortest possible duration. Moreover, the problem of antibiotic resistance can thus be managed by using more specific and sensitive antibiotics.
There are many other tests that are performed to understand what could possibly be wrong with a pet. These tests depend on testing what the body excretes - urine and stool. Testing these in various ways can help a vet understand a lot about what could be going wrong in a pet's body. If specific gravity of a pet's urine is falling - it immediately alerts the vet to a possibly deteriorating kidney function. Also, if there are traces of a certain kind of protein detectable in the urine - its again a pointer to possible kidney damage. Similarly conditions like parasite infestation in the gastrointestinal tract, infection of the urinary tract, developing kidney stones or sometimes even the propensity to develop joint pain can also be determined by various tests performed on the material excreted by the pet.