In-house testing takes the guesswork out of emergencies, so treatment can begin right away. And in some cases, the turnaround time from an outside lab may be hours, or even days longer than your pet can afford. Friday evening diagnosis of rat poison ingestion shouldn’t wait for a Monday diagnosis.
Extensive care frequently requires extended monitoring, which typically includes monitoring of electrolytes and levels of blood gases, lactate, ionized calcium, and so on, only available through in-clinic analysis.
Having an in-house laboratory gives clients an immediate diagnosis. The doctor would want blood drawn for a CBC, chemistry panel with lipase, and electrolytes. We could prescribe medication and monitor treatment based on scientific conclusions, or plan for an in hospital treatment. We can do all this within a short amount of time, rather than waiting for results from outside laboratory..
In-house testing has changed the standard of care. It’s not an option to hold on treatment for ordered lab work to make a therapeutic decision and you don’t want to wait for results.
The benefits of preanesthetic testing can’t be ignored. Marina Animal Clinic makes such testing mandatory. This process helps surgeons avoid anesthetic or surgical complications and lets us establish baseline laboratory values for comparison as pets age.
We have hematology and electrolyte testing including all preanesthetic panels. Anesthetizing patients with such issues as anemia, heartworm disease, polycythemia, leukopenia, leukocytosis, or thrombocytopenia is contraindicated without further investigation. Anesthetizing patients with electrolyte abnormalities can also be dangerous. And anesthetizing patients with hyperkalemia or hyperthyroidism can be deadly. Given the risks, it’s just not worth taking a chance.
Many patients, especially senior pets, routinely take NSAIDs, levothyroxine, methimizole, phenobarbital, potassium bromide, phenylpropanolamine, ACE inhibitors, insulin, nutraceuticals, chemotherapy drugs, glucocorticoids, and immunosuppressive medications. Monitoring lets the doctor check more closely for side effects and watch for coexisting diseases. For example, feline hyperthyroid patients receiving methimizole should be closely monitored for renal disease, because treatment for hyperthyroidism may result in renal decompensation.
Senior testing lets the doctor check for hidden diseases and establish baseline data, so we can tell early when something isn’t right. Preanesthetic blood work is required at 7 years and older, or anytime the doctor deems necessary. Although, It’s never a bad idea to monitor these values at any age therefore, always recommended before any sedation.
Older patients receiving dental procedures or anesthesia for any reason are tested in-clinic on the morning of the procedure. We use these blood tests for preanesthetic profiles to help us avoid complications. Since we have already scheduled the procedure, doing the blood tests in-house is immediate and accurate.
It’s no secret that we are a time-oriented society. Given a choice, clients generally prefer a one-trip solution rather than running back and forth to the vet clinic. We make it more convenient! No more waiting for results.