Taking blood and urine samples is a vital part of diagnostic testing. We can look at a wide range of tests to help us diagnose what is wrong with your pet, and then other tests to monitor improvement, detect side effects from some medications, and see response to treatment such as chemotherapy.

Some of these tests require specialist equipment and training to carry out, and will always be restricted to specialist laboratories. The cost of the equipment is too great for an individual clinic to cover.

The majority of blood and urine tests, however, do not fall into this category, and can be carried out very quickly in the clinic. This reduces the time taken waiting for results, and enables tests to be run whenever the patient needs them.

Samples that are sent to an external laboratory are taken there by courier, which puts an inevitable delay on getting the result. Samples taken on Friday afternoon might not get a result back to us until the next Monday evening, with the obvious concerns this delay in obtaining a diagnosis produces.

At Pukekohe clinic we have recently invested in the most advanced in-clinic blood testing system available. The IDEXX system includes machines for testing biochemical parameters (such as liver enzymes, protein levels, glucose levels), haematology (cell counts), electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride), clotting function (testing for rat bait and other clotting disorders) and urine testing.

We are proud to be the first private practice in the country to get this set up, providing us with equipment of a standard normally seen only in reference laboratories.

If you are concerned your dog ate ratbait a few days ago, if you want to check your elderly cat for renal function, if your vomiting dog has been on fluids for a day and we need to know the sodium level, we can now do these tests on site, in minutes.