What Are the Common Tests Done in a Vet Diagnostic Laboratory?

Our beloved pets’ health and well-being are paramount to pet owners. When our furry companions are unwell or facing health concerns, it’s essential to have access to accurate diagnostic tools and expertise to determine the root of the problem. 

Veterinary diagnostic laboratories play a pivotal role in this process by offering various tests and services to identify, diagnose, and monitor various animal health conditions. In this article, we will delve into what veterinary diagnostic laboratories are and explore the common tests and procedures they conduct to ensure the health and vitality of our pets.

What Is a Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory?

A veterinary diagnostic laboratory, often called a vet diagnostic lab or vet lab, is a specialized facility equipped with state-of-the-art technology and staffed by highly skilled professionals. The primary mission of these laboratories is to provide accurate and timely diagnostic information to veterinarians, pet owners, and researchers. Vet diagnostic labs serve various purposes, including the diagnosis of diseases, monitoring of animal health, and research into animal-related medical issues. These facilities are essential for ensuring the health and well-being of animals, whether they are beloved pets, livestock, or wildlife.

Common Tests Done in a Vet Diagnostic Lab

Veterinary diagnostic laboratories offer a comprehensive range of tests and procedures to assess the health of animals. These tests help veterinarians make accurate diagnoses, establish treatment plans, and ensure the well-being of their patients. Here are some of the common tests conducted in a vet laboratory:

1. Blood Tests

  • Hematology: Hematology encompasses complete blood counts (CBC), which assess the levels of various blood components. CBCs help evaluate red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Abnormalities in these counts can indicate conditions such as anemia, infections, or other blood-related disorders.
  • Blood Chemistry Panels: Blood chemistry panels are comprehensive tests that evaluate organ function by measuring levels of enzymes, electrolytes, and other substances in the blood. They provide crucial insights into conditions like kidney, liver, and diabetes, enabling veterinarians to formulate appropriate treatment plans.

2. Urinalysis

Urinalysis is a multifaceted test that assesses both the chemical composition and physical characteristics of urine. It plays a vital role in diagnosing a range of issues, including urinary tract infections, kidney disease, and diabetes. Urine analysis can provide valuable information about an animal’s overall health and hydration status.

3. Microbiological Cultures

Microbiological cultures are fundamental for identifying microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi from various samples, including blood, urine, or tissue. By isolating and characterizing pathogens, these tests aid in diagnosing infections and guide veterinarians in determining the most effective treatment strategies.

4. Cytology

Cytology involves the microscopic examination of cells. By studying cell morphology and identifying abnormalities, cytology is a crucial diagnostic tool for a range of conditions. It is commonly used to diagnose skin conditions, ear infections, and tumors.

5. Radiography (X-Rays)

Radiography, often called X-rays, generates detailed images of bones, organs, and soft tissues. It is instrumental in diagnosing fractures, detecting tumors, and assessing internal injuries. Additionally, X-rays are used to evaluate the condition of the heart and lungs, aiding in diagnosing cardiac and respiratory issues.

6. Ultrasonography

Ultrasonography employs sound waves to produce real-time images of internal structures. This non-invasive technique is invaluable for assessing abdominal organs, monitoring pregnancies, and diagnosing various medical conditions. It provides veterinarians with a dynamic view of an animal’s internal health.

7. Electrocardiography (ECG or EKG)

Electrocardiography, called ECG or EKG, records the heart’s electrical activity. This diagnostic tool is pivotal in diagnosing cardiac arrhythmias and other heart-related conditions. ECGs provide critical insights into the functioning of an animal’s heart.

8. Histopathology

Histopathology entails the microscopic examination of tissue samples, often obtained through biopsies. By analyzing these samples, histopathology assists in diagnosing diseases such as cancer, inflammatory conditions, and other tissue abnormalities. Some of these conditions might even require veterinary surgery in Wilton, CT.

9. Parasitology

Parasitology tests identify various parasites, including fleas, ticks, and intestinal worms. These tests guide appropriate treatment and prevention strategies to safeguard an animal’s health.

10. Serology

Serological tests measure antibodies present in the blood. These tests help diagnose infections, assess a pet’s vaccination status, and provide valuable information about an animal’s immune response to specific pathogens.

11. Endocrinology

Endocrinology tests evaluate hormone levels in an animal’s body. They are vital for diagnosing conditions such as thyroid disease, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances, enabling veterinarians to develop appropriate treatment plans.

12. Immunology

Immunological tests assess the immune system’s response in animals. By examining immune markers and responses, these tests aid in diagnosing autoimmune diseases, allergies, and other immune-related conditions.

Learn more about the different services a trusted veterinary clinic offers by checking out this site: https://www.southwiltonvet.com/site/home.


In addition to these tests, vet diagnostic laboratories offer a range of specialized assays and procedures tailored to specific medical needs. The results of these tests are crucial for veterinarians to formulate treatment plans, monitor the progress of ongoing therapies, and ensure the best possible care for our animal companions. Veterinary diagnostic laboratories are indispensable partners in maintaining the health and well-being of pets and other animals, playing a vital role in veterinary medicine.


Learn More →