Carteret Animal Hospital
Laboratory Testing -
A significant amount of diagnostic work is able to be conducted in house, enabling us to get results in less than an hour, sometimes within 15 to 20 minutes. This can allow us to begin treatment immediately, without waiting overnight for send-out test results. Providing you with answers rapidly is crucial to your peace of mind and can allow you to make an informed decision regarding the treatment of your pet. Our laboratory machines allow us to run CBCs to evaluate your pet's red and white cell numbers, as well as basic chemistry panels to screen for diabetes, pancreatitis, electrolyte imbalances, as well as kidney and liver disease. We are able to run pre-anesthetic panels to insure that your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia prior to any elective surgery. We also perform routine fecal exams and heart worm tests, as well as feline leukemia / FIV testing. If there is a test that your pet needs that we cannot perform in house, we will send it to a reputable laboratory and generally have results the next morning, though certain tests do require longer periods of time.
* All newly adopted cats and kittens should be tested for Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency (FIV) viruses. Having a littermate tested for the viruses does NOT guarantee that your pet is virus free -- these viruses are spread inconsistently through a litter and the queen can pass it to one or more kittens, and not to others. After the initial testing, repeat testing may be recommended periodically in cats that go outdoors and/or experience repeated illnesses.
* Routine wellness lab work is important for pets between the ages of 1 and 6 years to evaluate overall health and to establish normal baseline values. This gives us a starting point for comparison if your pet begins to exhibit symptoms in the future. It becomes even more important in senior pets, to detect common age-related problems such as diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease and thyroid problems. With early detection, these conditions may be treated much more effectively.
* Heartworm tests are STRONGLY recommended on a yearly basis for dogs. This is important due to the prevalence of this parasite. Because heartworms are transmitted by mosquitos, which thrive in our region, it is a serious cause for concern. And, because the winter temperatures usually do not get cold enough to kill mosquito eggs, it is a year-round risk. Monthly preventives are available for both cats and dogs. Testing your dog annually insures that, in the event that he or she does contract heart worms, the disease can be addressed BEFORE your dog sustains permanent damage to his heart and / or lungs. It also maintains the warranty offered by the heart worm preventive manufacturer, which will offset the cost of treatment should your dog become infected while taking their product.
* Yearly fecal exams screen for a variety of intestinal parasites - roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, giardia, coccidia - some of which are not treatable with over-the-counter dewormers. Various stages of the parasite or, more commonly, eggs, will be shed in the feces. Many of these parasites are spread easily, and some can even be transmitted to humans.
Radiographs (Xrays) -
X-rays allow us to look inside your pet - we can identify broken or dislocated bones, foreign objects in the gastrointestinal tract, heart disease, tumors, bladder and kidney stones, constipation and a number of other disease states. X-rays often contribute significantly to the determination of the best course of treatment for your pet, and can lead us to recommend surgery over medical treatment when warranted.