The 3 Most Common Veterinary Procedures

Veterinary procedures are used to determine illness, infection, disease or disorder in your pet. Because these tests can accurately diagnosis conditions that are both minor and major, they are of great importance to your pet's health. Without the use of diagnostic testing, there could be many conditions that would go on unnoticed and eventually lead to the death of your pet. Here are some of the most commonly used veterinary procedures.

1. Fecal Examination

A fecal examination is made by taking a sample of the animal's stool and testing it diagnostically. This type of testing allows the feces of your pet to be examined under microscopic conditions. Because the worms and bacteria which can live in your dog's stool are microscopic, there would be no other way to accurately diagnose such conditions without the use of a fecal exam.

A fecal examination is always used in cats and dogs when internal parasites are suspected, although it's also a common practice during any veterinary examination. Some of the parasites that can be detected with a fecal examination include tapeworms, heartworms, roundworms and whipworms.

2. Complete Blood Count

A complete blood count, also known as a blood test, can effectively check the overall health of your pet. A complete blood count will check the level of white blood cells, conditions of anemia, infection, parasites of the blood and cancer.

In general, the white blood cells multiply in their production when there is an infection in the body. If your pet has a blood test done that indicates a high level of white blood cells, it's a good indication that your dog is infected somewhere throughout the body.

There are also certain parasites, similar to those found in the intestinal tract, which affect the blood and can be found there. Because leukemia is a cancer of the blood, a blood test can confirm or deny that diagnosis, as well.

3. Urinalysis

A urinalysis is the process of taking urine samples and testing them on slide smears. In the urine sample, a veterinarian will be looking at white blood cell count, bacteria and crystals. 

An elevated amount of white blood cells indicate infection. If they're detected in the urine, it can tell to the veterinarian that there is inflammation and either an infection of the bladder or kidneys.

Under normal conditions, there is a certain amount of good bacteria which lives in the urinary tract. However, if a urinalysis shows that the level of bacteria in your pet's urinary tract is highly elevated, it can indicate that the problem is a urinary infection. If this is the case, a culture test can be done next to determine what type of bacteria is present, thereby determining which method of treatment should be used.

If there are crystal-like formations in the urine, it will tell a veterinarian that there are stones in the bladder or kidneys. These crystals are normally present in the urine, but when they begin to join together, they actually form crystal-like stones. This can cause a tremendous amount of pain for your pet.