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The Importance of Point-of-Care Testing

If you bring your pet to the veterinarian for a health checkup to determine or treat a health issue or condition, you may recommend certain tests or procedures to ensure that your pet’s health is in good working order. Preventive testing is the term for it.

The use of preventive tests helps establish a baseline for your pet, which you can then compare to subsequent tests to see if there have been any changes. It also allows you to identify problems before they become serious or even emergencies, allowing your pet to live a longer, healthier, and problem-free life. 

Furthermore, when vets perform such tests at the point-of-care, the results are usually available before leaving the vet’s office. 

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What is point-of-care testing?

The point-of-care test is a preventative or diagnostic test performed and examined where your pet receives treatment, such as in a vet clinic. This type of test typically yields results faster than traditional laboratory results, allowing you to obtain an answer or diagnosis and decide on the next step (such as additional tests, hospitalization, or a recommendation for extra care or treatment) during the same visit to your veterinarian.

According to research, keeping track of your pet’s health through regular preventative examinations can help you identify underlying illnesses and diseases earlier. For example, during a study of 1197 preventive visits for cats, about a quarter of the cats showed uncommon tests that could correspond with various serious illnesses. 

As a result, many cats produced uncommon results, necessitating further investigation. However, routine lab tests are the only way to detect health issues before they become serious.

Many facilities offer surgical services and routine lab tests, so if your pet needs one, always consult a specialist to learn more.

Common Veterinary Point-of-Care Examinations

Your pet’s breed, age, lifestyle, and other factors influence the types of tests your veterinarian may recommend. However, the following are the most frequently requested preventive, diagnostic, and monitoring tests that could be administered and evaluated in the clinic using point-of-care tests:

Chemistry blood tests

These tests will reveal details about the pancreas, kidney, liver, thyroid, intestine, and other organs and body systems.

The biochemistry test is a routine examination of several aspects:

  • Blood sugar levels (to look for signs of diabetes, Addison’s disease, or liver problems)
  • Nitrogen Urea Blood (BUN)
  • Creatine (both of which are principally indicators of kidney and renal health)
  • Protein levels in the blood (where abnormalities could indicate inflammation, liver dysfunction, or even certain cancers)
  • Viral diseases (FeLV or FIV, two feline viruses)
  • Heartworms, or tick-borne illnesses.

Hematology examinations

A Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC) examination includes looking at red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It is the most commonly used blood test for hematology. In addition, it aids veterinarians in diagnosing diseases such as anemia, leukemia, bleeding problems, blood clotting, and the possibility of infections.

Urine screenings

Urine tests can be used with chemical blood tests to look for proteins, blood glucose, glucose, or other irregularities in urine. It also informs the vet team about how your pet’s kidneys function and other concerns, such as bacteria in urine (which could indicate a urinary tract infection). You can check this link to consult with a trusted veterinarian to do all these tests.

The Benefits 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 tests are available to you the same day.
  • When you know that you can find any disease before it gets too bad, you will be able to feel safe.
  • If the problem is detected early on, you will be able to manage it more quickly and with less stress on your pet. Also, it can reduce the money needed to control the disease and keep it stable over time.

It assists your veterinarian team in detecting the possibility of developing diseases and other issues that may arise in the future if they develop. Furthermore, whenever a problem arises, your veterinarian will be able to use proactive tests to track your pet’s health and overall health.

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