March 31, 2016

Nathan Head

Inside TCM

Behind the Exam: In-House Labwork

See how TCM uses our in-house lab to quickly diagnose your cat's health

Immediate testing allows for immediate treatment

At The Cat's Meow we use Idexx Reference Laboratories, the industry leader in diagnostic testing, for many of our specialized tests; however, the turnaround on these tests is usually at least 24 hours.  Fortunately, The Cat's Meow has some of the same Idexx lab equipment in-house for running tests in less than 30 minutes.

Immediate testing allows for immediate treatment. By having this diagnostic information readily available, we can discuss the results with you in the same appointment and prevent multiple trips to our office for follow-up diagnostics. In-house lab also allows for The Cat's Meow to perform pre-anesthetic testing on the morning of surgery. This pre-anesthetic lab allows us to have confidence anesthesia will be safe for your kitty. If we have any concerns then we will reschedule surgery for a later date.  

Our in-house lab features two critical pieces of equipment, Chemistry and Hematology. We also use various SNAP tests for additional information.

Idexx Catalyst One - chemistry diagnostics
This Idexx Catalyst One machine is used in chemistry diagnostics

Our chemistry tests evaluate organ function, electrolyte status, hormone levels and more. They are important in evaluating older cats, cats with vomiting and diarrhea or toxin exposure, cats receiving long-term medications, and health before anesthesia.

These slides are used for chemistry diagnostics

Chemistry Tests

Albumin is a serum protein that helps evaluate hydration status, hemorrhage, and intestinal, liver and kidney disease.
Alkaline phosphatase elevations may indicate liver damage, Cushing's disease, and active bone growth in young cats.
Alanine aminotransferase is a sensitive indicator of active liver damage.
Blood urea nitrogen indicates kidney function. An increased blood level is called azotemia and can be caused by kidney, liver, and heart disease, urethral obstruction, shock and dehydration.
Calcium deviations can indicate a variety of diseases. Tumors, hyperparathyroidism, kidney disease, and low albumin are just a few of the conditions that alter serum calcium.
Cholesterol is used to supplement diagnosis of hypothyroidism, liver disease, Cushing's disease, and diabetes mellitus.
Creatinine reveals kidney function. This test helps distinguish between kidney and non-kidney causes of elevated BUN.
Gamma glutamyl transferase is an enzyme that indicates liver disease or corticosteroid excess.
Globulin is a blood protein that often increases with chronic inflammation and certain disease states.
Glucose is a blood sugar. Elevated levels may indicate diabetes mellitus. Low levels can cause collapse, seizures or coma.
Phosphorous elevations are often associated with kidney disease, hyperthyroidism and bleeding disorders.
Total bilirubin elevations may indicate liver or hemolytic disease. This test helps identify bile duct problems and certain types of anemia.
Total protein indicates hydration status and provides additional information about the liver, kidney and infectious diseases.
Chloride is an electrolyte often lost with vomiting and Addison's disease. Elevations often indicate dehydration.
Potassium is an electrolyte lost with vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive urination. Increased levels may indicate kidney failure, Addison's disease, dehydration, urethral obstruction, or cardiac distress.
Sodium is an electrolyte lost with vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney and Addison's disease. This test helps indicate hydration status.
Thyroxine is a thyroid hormone. High levels indicate hyperthyroidism in cats.
This Idexx Lasercyte machine is used in hematology (blood) tests

Our hematology provides information on hydration status, anemia, infection, and blood’s clotting ability, and the ability of the immune system to respond. This test is essential for cats with fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, pale gums, or loss of appetite. If your cat needs surgery, a CBC can detect bleeding disorders or other unseen abnormalities.

This is the collection tube used within the Idexx machine

Hematology (Blood) Tests

Basophils are helpful in identifying systemic hypersensitivity, as well as acute allergic reactions.
Eosinophils are important in identifying systemic hypersensitivity, which can be caused by heartworm, flea bite dermatitis, feline asthma, allergic gastroenteritis and more.
Hematocrit measures the percentage of red blood cells to detect anemia and dehydration.
Hemoglobin is the iron-containing reddish molecule within your cat's red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen.
Lymphocytes help identify inflammatory diseases where macrophages are a significant component of the inflammatory process.
Mean cell hemoglobin indicates the average amount of hemoglobin in each of your cat's red blood cells.
Mean cell hemoglobin concentration measures the oxygen-carrying pigments of red blood cells.
Serial accurate measurement of mean cell volume allows better following of the progression or regression of a disease state.
Monocytes help identify inflammatory diseases where macrophages are a significant component of the inflammatory process.
Neutrophils are important in identifying certain types of inflammatory disease and their severity, as well as following the progression or regression of inflammation.
Platelets measures the cells that form blood clots.
Red blood cell counts are helpful in identifying anemia in your cat.
Red blood cell distribution width is an objective measurement of variation in size of red blood cells.
Reticulocytes are immature red blood cells. High levels indicate regenerative anemia.
White blood cell count measures the body's immune system cells. Increases or decreases indicate certain diseases or infections.
SNAP test

SNAP Tests

The feline pancreas-specific lipase test helps diagnose, or rule out, feline pancreatitis.
B-type natriuretic peptide assesses cats at risk for cardiac disease quickly and easily. The test measures an indicator of stretch and stress on the myocardium.

Behind the Exam: In-House Labwork

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