The Importance of Point-of-Care Testing for the Health of Your Pet

If you bring your pet to the veterinarian to check their health to identify and treat a health issue or condition, they may suggest certain tests or procedures to ensure that your pet’s health is in good order. Preventive testing is the term for it.

Testing for preventive issues assists in establishing a specified baseline for your pet. This baseline can then use to compare subsequent tests to determine if you have noticed any changes. It can also help you spot problems before they develop into serious issues or even emergencies. 

It allows the pet to lead a longer, healthier, happier, and free of problems. Moreover, when veterinarians conduct such tests right at the point-of-care, the results are typically accessible before leaving the vet’s office.

Suppose your pet suffers from neurological conditions. It’s always better to check their website to consult a specialist for more information.

What is point-of-care-testing?

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

According to research, you could detect underlying health issues and illnesses earlier by observing your pet’s health by conducting regular preventative tests. For instance, in examining 1,197 preventive visits for cats, about a quarter of cats showed abnormalities in their tests that could correspond with various serious illnesses. 

Thus, many cats showed inconsistent results, which warranted further investigation. But unfortunately, the only way to detect conditions before they get serious is through routine lab tests.

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Common Veterinary Point-of-Care Tests

The kind of tests your vet may recommend for your pet is dependent on their breed, age, and lifestyle. However, the following are a few of the most commonly used diagnostic, preventive testing, or monitors that may be administered and evaluated at the vet using point-of-care tests:

Blood tests for Chemistry

These tests will reveal information about your pet’s pancreas and kidney, liver and thyroid gland, intestine, and other organs and body systems.

The biochemistry test is a standard test that will examine different aspects:

  • Blood sugar (looking for indicators of Addison’s disease, diabetes, or liver problems)
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
  • Creatinine (both of which are primary indicators of kidney health and renal function)
  • Levels of protein in the blood (where irregularities could be a sign of liver dysfunction, inflammation, or even cancerous conditions)
  • And particular liver enzymes (which in the event of abnormality could indicate various issues in the liver).

And other specific tests for viral diseases (FeLV or FIV, two feline viruses). Also, look for heartworm infections or difficulties with tick-borne illnesses. If you suspect your pet has liver disease, contact a veterinarian and ask if they can do a pet ultrasound to see the underlying issues.

Hematology tests

It is also known as the Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC), a test that examines red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, the most commonly used blood test for hematology. It aids the veterinarians in identifying ailments like anemia, leukemia, bleeding issues, blood clotting, and potential infections.

Urine examinations

You can do urine tests in conjunction with chemistry blood tests to check for protein, blood glucose, glucose, or other irregularities in urine. Additionally, it will inform the vet team of how your pet’s kidneys function and other concerns like bacteria present within the urinary tract (which could be a sign of urinary tract infection).

The Advantages of Point-of-Care Testing

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 test results are available for you to access that same day.
  • You’ll have peace of mind knowing you can detect any disease not being treated earlier.
  • If they identify the problem in the early stages, you will be able to manage it faster and cause less stress for your pet. Additionally, it can reduce the amount you’ll need to invest in bringing the condition under control and remaining the same over time.

It allows your veterinarian team to detect possible diseases or other issues in the future, should they occur. Furthermore, your vet will be able to use proactive tests to keep track of your pet’s health and overall health whenever a problem occurs.

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