The Importance of Point-of-Care Testing for Your Pet’s Health

When you bring your furry friend to the veterinarian for a checkup, diagnosis, or treat a health problem, they may recommend certain tests or procedures to ensure that your pet’s health is in good working order. It is known as preventive testing.

Testing for preventive issues can help you establish a baseline for your pet’s health. Then, they use this baseline to compare subsequent tests to see if any changes have occurred. It can also help you identify issues before they become serious problems or even emergencies. 

As a result, it enables the pet to live longer, healthier, happier, and problem-free lives. Furthermore, when veterinarians perform such tests right at the point-of-care, the results are usually available before the patient leaves the veterinarian’s office.

Finding a reputable vet neurologist is crucial for your pet’s safety. Always look for one that provides complete surgical and medical care.

What is point-of-care testing?

A preventative or diagnostic test performed and evaluated at the location where your pet receives treatment, such as a veterinarian’s office, is known as point-of-care testing. When you visit your veterinarian, you will typically receive an answer or diagnosis faster than traditional laboratory results, allowing you to decide on the next step (additional tests, hospitalization, or a request for further care or treatment).

According to research, monitoring your pet’s health and performing regular preventative tests can help you detect underlying health issues and illnesses sooner. In a study of 1197 preventive visits for cats, for example, about a quarter of the cats had abnormalities in their tests that could indicate a variety of serious illnesses. 

Therefore, many cats produced inconsistent results, necessitating further investigation. Unfortunately, routine lab tests are the only way to detect conditions before they become serious.

Common Veterinary Point-of-Care Tests

The types of tests your veterinarian may recommend for your pet are determined by their breed, age, lifestyle, and other factors. Here are a few of the most common diagnostic, preventive, testing, or monitoring procedures that can be performed and evaluated at the veterinarian using point-of-care tests:

Blood Chemistry Tests

The vet will examine your pet’s pancreas and kidneys, liver and thyroid gland, intestine, and other organs and body systems.

The biochemistry test is a standard test that looks at a variety of factors, including:

  • Blood sugar levels (to look for signs of Addison’s disease, diabetes, or liver disease)
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) and Creatinine (both of which are primary indicators of kidney health and renal function)
  • Protein levels in the blood (where irregularities could be a sign of liver dysfunction, inflammation, or even cancerous conditions)
  • In addition, certain liver enzymes (which in the event of abnormality could indicate various issues in the liver).
  • And there are a variety of other tests. For example, check for viral infections (FeLV or FIV, two feline viruses). Also, keep an eye out for heartworm infections or tick-borne illnesses.

Always refer to the vet ultrasound for diagnosis and treatment planning to understand what they will do to your pet.

Hematology Tests

The most commonly used blood test for hematology is the Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC), which is a test that examines red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It assists veterinarians in detecting illnesses such as anemia, leukemia, bleeding problems, blood clotting issues, and possible infections.

Most hematologists work closely with surgeons to assist patients in comprehending their diagnosis, developing individualized treatment plans, and coordinating various aspects of care. You can consult with a veterinary surgeon to see if surgery is necessary.

Urine Examinations

To check for protein, blood glucose, glucose, or other irregularities in urine, you can use urine tests with chemistry blood tests. It will also tell the vet team how well your pet’s kidneys are working and whether there are any other issues, such as bacteria in the urinary tract (which could be a sign of urinary tract infection). 

The Benefits of Testing at the Point-of-Care

The advantage of POCT is the quick access to test results. Additionally, it demonstrates diagnostic accuracy, robust quality management, immediately acting on results, and changing operational processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Your pet’s tests are available to you the same day.
  • When you know that you can find any disease that they have not yet treated, you will be at ease you can.
  • You will be able to manage the problem faster and cause less stress for your pet if they detect it early on.
  • Early detection of an illness can reduce the amount of money you will have to spend on getting the condition under control and keeping it that way over time.

It enables your veterinarian’s team to detect diseases or other issues that may arise. Furthermore, whenever a problem arises, your veterinarian will be able to use proactive tests to keep track of your pet’s health and overall health.

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