Educational Articles

Cats + Diagnosis

  • Testing for diabetes includes confirming hyperglycemia and glucosuria while looking for other conditions by checking a CBC (anemia, infection), biochemistry profile (hepatic disease, pancreatitis) and a urinalysis (urinary tract infection). Monitoring includes regular glucose curves and additional exams and testing based on the pet owner’s monitoring of their cat’s clinical signs in the home setting. Urine glucose testing and fructosamine are sometimes used in diabetic monitoring and urine testing for infection may be recommended.

  • Sometimes called the blue print of life, DNA is a complex protein that carries the genetic code of an organism. All common forms of life, such as viruses, bacteria, plants, and animals carry a complete copy of their own DNA in each of their cells.

  • Albumin is an important protein that is normally found in the blood, but is not normally present in the urine of healthy pets.

  • An electrocardiogram, or ECG, is a test that is used to assess the heart. More specifically, an ECG measures the transmission of an electrical impulse through the heart. This test is not painful and is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. Analyzing the electrical impulses produced as the heart beats can help identify a number of different abnormalities within the heart.

  • A fecal Baermann is a specialized test for detecting certain types of parasites or worms.

  • Fecal flotation is a routine veterinary test used to diagnose internal parasites or worms. The test detects the eggs of mature parasites that live inside the body and pass their eggs to the outside by shedding them in the host's stool.

  • 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.

  • FIP is a disease caused by a mutated (changed) strain of feline coronavirus. Unfortunately, routine blood testing for feline coronavirus is not clinically useful. Exposure to any strain of feline coronavirus will result in an immune response and the production of antibodies. A working diagnosis of FIP is typically made on the basis of the cat's clinical history, as well as supportive laboratory data. Histopathology remains the best way to diagnose FIP in the living cat.

  • 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.