Educational Articles

Dogs + Diagnosis

  • Fecal occult blood refers to the presence of small quantities of blood in the stool that cannot be seen with the naked eye (occult means concealed from view). The blood can come from anywhere in the digestive tract, including the mouth, stomach, intestines or rectum.

  • Cytology is the microscopic examination of cells that have been collected from body tissues. Fine needle aspiration (FNA), also called fine needle biopsy, is the most frequently used technique in cytology. It is typically used to sample lumps and bumps on the body; however, it is also used to evaluate internal organs and body fluids. A sterile fine gauge needle is attached to an empty syringe and is introduced into the tissue. The tissue cells or fluid are aspirated when the plunger of the syringe is drawn back while the needle is held in the tissue. The cells are placed onto a clean glass slide, dried, and stained with special dyes. The cells are then examined under a microscope. Cytology by FNA does not always provide a diagnosis but contributes valuable information that ultimately leads to a final diagnosis.

  • Flow cytometry is a laboratory technique that can be used for counting, examining, and sorting cells. The technology to perform flow cytometry is often incorporated into automated laboratory equipment such as hematology analyzers.

  • A Holter monitor (also called an ambulatory electrocardiography device) is named after its inventor, Dr. Norman J. Holter who was a prominent American biophysicist of the 1940's. A Holter monitor is a portable device used to continuously monitor the electrical activity of the heart.

  • Calcium is a mineral that is found in small quantities throughout the body. It is plays an important role in such varied and vital functions as muscle contraction, transmission of nerve impulses, blood clotting, and bone growth. Hypercalcemia is when the level of calcium in the blood is higher than normal.

  • Calcium is a mineral that is found in small quantities throughout the body. It plays an important role in such diverse and vital functions including muscle contraction, transmission of nerve impulses, blood clotting, and bone growth. Hypocalcemia means that the level of calcium in the blood is abnormally low.

  • There are many possible causes of infertility in male dogs, including behavioral, physical, and medical factors. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination and testing to diagnose the reason for your male dog's infertility, and treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

  • Generally, the following screening tests are recommended: a complete blood count (CBC), a serum biochemical profile, and a urinalysis.

  • Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Leptospira. The disease causes serious damage to the kidney and liver, and may be fatal in severe cases. Severely infected dogs show signs of lethargy, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and increased thirst and urination. Dogs may develop jaundice. There are several tests for diagnosing leptospirosis, but the two most common ones are the DNA-PCR test and the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Infection can be diagnosed with either test, but each has weaknesses, and in some situations both tests may be needed to reach a diagnosis.

  • Generally, the following screening tests are recommended when liver disease is suspected: a complete blood count (CBC), a serum biochemical profile, and a urinalysis.