A thorough history of symptoms and a full clinical examination form the cornerstones of diagnosis. However, various types of laboratory tests are often necessary to confirm a provisional diagnosis or to investigate a problem more fully. Blood tests can give us information about a range of conditions including liver and kidney disease, hormonal conditions, disorders of the blood cells or infection.
The in-house blood analysers are some of the most frequently used pieces of equipment at the surgery. They enable us to process blood tests within a very short period of time. Emergency cases can be reported on within a couple of hours, enabling accurate treatment to start promptly. They also enable us to carry out pre-anaesthetic profiles on the same day as surgery, eliminating the stress and inconvenience of a separate visit. A system of regular quality control testing and the support of a commercial laboratory allow us to be confident in the service we offer.
If your pet requires a non-urgent blood test we would usually ask you to bring him in one morning and to leave him with us for most of the day. This allows us to process the initial tests and then decide on the treatment regime. Occasionally there can be problems with the blood sample and if the animal is left with us for the day we are able to repeat the test. Sometimes the results of the initial blood tests suggest that further testing is required, either by ourselves or by an external laboratory and in these cases we will telephone you to discuss the preliminary results and their implications. The results of the tests and our conclusions would then be discussed during an appointment in evening surgery.
An estimate of the costs involved can be given at any stage during the process. This is particularly important when a series of tests is carried out, as the initial estimate will no longer be valid.
We are happy to answer your questions concerning the tests, diagnosis and treatment regime at any stage. We feel that these discussions and explanations contribute to our overall aim of providing high quality, good value veterinary care.