Pet Diagnostics and Blood Work

Having a sick pet is stressful for both you and your pet. It can be difficult to know precisely why your pet is out of sorts. It would be nice to intuitively understand what ails our pets, but the reality is that most people are not able to. This is why veterinarian diagnostics are vital to helping a sick animal. At Valley Veterinary Hospital of Helena, we are committed to pet wellness. We believe that healthy pets are the happiest pets.


Signs of a Healthy, Happy Pet

Eyes: Dogs stare with intensity at their beloved owners. Raised and animated eyebrows are a sign of contentedness. The shape of the eye may also change from its normal shape when in distress. Cats will slowly blink their eyes when comfortable and happy.

Tail: A wagging dog tail is a sign of a happy dog. Pay close attention though, because that doesn’t always mean they’re feeling well. A cat twitching the tip of its tail is happy. However, cat thumping their tail may mean they are annoyed.  

Mouth: Dogs smile when they are happy. A relaxed or open mouth is a good sign in a dog.

Energy Levels: When a dog is energetic, that’s a good sign they are happy. However, some dogs will still play when not feeling well. Cats will often knead with their paws when they are happy.

Sounds: Many dogs squeal in excitement when going somewhere they love, such as a dog park. A cat purring is their way of saying they are happy and content.  

Signs of Pain or Distress in Your Pet

Dogs: Tail held between the legs is an indication of fear or unhappiness. Loss of appetite can be an indication of malaise. If a dog is sleeping restlessly and moving to new sleeping spots, it could indicate distress. A warm nose could indicate sickness in a dog, but it isn’t always a sign of sickness.

Cats: Lethargy and loss of appetite can be a strong indicator of a sick cat.

Blood Work

Having blood drawn is never a pleasant experience, no matter who the patient is. In most of our routine pet exams, blood will be drawn for a CBC – Complete Blood Count. This diagnostic testing tool will help us to detect conditions such as anemia, hydration level, immune response, possible infections, illness, and more. The CBC tests can help our team discover specific diseases such as leukemia and certain types of cancer. Another very important blood test for dogs is the heartworm test. Heartworm is very serious and can be fatal if not treated. The test for this parasite is done quickly by blood draw at the veterinarian office. Other blood tests can be performed to check an animal’s kidney function, liver health, and pancreatic health.

Come Visit Us!

There are many diagnostic tools and tests a veterinarian can use to determine the cause of your pet’s malady. Blood tests, urine tests, fecal tests are standard. X-rays and ultrasounds can also be used to determine if your pet has ingested something or if there is a broken bone. At Valley Veterinarian Hospital of Helena, we hope your pet stays healthy and happy. We look forward to working with you to keep your pets healthy and happy. Call us today to learn more or to schedule your next wellness exam.