Articles

Diagnosis

  • A biopsy is one of the more common diagnostic procedures performed in dogs. Biopsies provide valuable insight into the type of cells in an abnormal area of skin or a skin growth and whether the growth poses a more serious health threat to your pet. Either the entire mass or a small representative section of skin is removed and submitted to a veterinary pathologist, who will perform a histopathology analysis. The pathologist will attempt to determine the nature of the lesion, identify the type of cells and their relationship to each other, as well as any evidence of malignancy.

  • Blood pressure measurement evaluates the pressure against the walls of arteries during the time the heart contracts and empties itself of blood, as well as during the time the heart relaxes and fills with blood. Systemic hypertension describes high blood pressure throughout the entire body.

  • Abdominal enlargement is a general term that means a cat's belly is larger or fuller than usual and bulges beyond the normal outline of the body. Abdominal enlargement may develop for many reasons depending on the age and gender of the cat.

  • The causes of abdominal enlargement include an increase in intra-abdominal fat due to simple overall weight gain because of excess calories or insufficient exercise. A redistribution of fat into the abdominal cavity may occur with Cushing's disease.

  • Coughing can have many different causes. The search for answers starts with a complete history and physical examination. Additional diagnostic tests may be needed and your veterinarian may recommend doing screening tests. These are a series of simple tests that provide information about the overall health of the pet and may provide further clues about the underlying problem.

  • Decreased appetite (inappetence) and listlessness (lethargy or lack of energy) are seen with many different diseases and conditions. The first step is to determine if the underlying problem is medical or non-medical in nature.

  • Diarrhea can be caused by many different things, some easier to diagnose than others. Simple diarrhea with no other clinical signs may not require diagnostic testing, but if diarrhea is ongoing or your pet is showing other clinical signs then baseline diagnostic testing including complete blood count (CBC), biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and fecal testing may be recommended. Additional diagnostic testing may be required depending on the results of these tests.

  • Fever of unknown origin is a term that is generally used to refer to a persistent fever of greater than 39.7 °C (103.5 °F) for which the underlying cause is not readily evident.

  • Heartworm disease is a parasitic disease that typically affects dogs but can occasionally occur in cats. Heartworm is usually diagnosed with a simple blood test. There are two main tests for detecting heartworm infection; one test detects adult worms and the other detects microfilaria.

  • Heartworm disease is caused by a parasite called Dirofilaria immitis, better known as heartworm. Dogs become infected when they are bitten by an infected mosquito that is carrying immature heartworms. Heartworm disease is widespread in the United States and is particularly common along the southeastern and gulf coasts, and through the Mississippi River valley. In Canada, heartworm infection is more restricted and is localized to southern Ontario, southern Manitoba, and southern Quebec, with scattered occurrences elsewhere in the country.