At Swan Street Vet in Richmond, our clinic is equipped with an in-house laboratory, enabling us to conduct blood tests on-site and obtain rapid results. This immediate access to diagnostic information empowers our veterinarians to make well-informed decisions regarding your pet’s veterinary care.

Having an in-house blood testing and laboratory facility at Swan Street Vet offers several advantages in terms of diagnostics and pet care. Here are some key benefits:

  • Quick results: With an in-house laboratory, we can obtain test results promptly, often within minutes or hours. This allows for faster diagnosis and timely treatment decisions, especially in urgent or critical cases.
  • Convenient and efficient: Instead of sending samples to external labs and waiting for results, having an in-house facility eliminates the need for off-site testing. This convenience leads to streamlined workflows, reducing wait times for both pets and their owners.
  • Comprehensive testing: In-house laboratories typically offer a wide range of tests, including complete blood counts (CBC), blood chemistry panels, urinalysis, faecal analysis, and more.
  • Customised treatment plans: Accurate and timely test results enable us to tailor treatment plans to the specific needs of each pet. We can make informed decisions about medications, dosages, and other therapeutic interventions based on the laboratory findings.
  • Emergency care: In critical situations, such as trauma or severe illness, immediate access to on-site blood testing is crucial. It allows our veterinarians to evaluate organ function, assess blood loss, monitor electrolyte imbalances, and make swift decisions to stabilise the pet’s condition.
  • Ongoing monitoring: In-house laboratory facilities are beneficial for monitoring chronic conditions and tracking the progress of your pet’s treatment. Frequent testing and close monitoring can help our veterinarians adjust medications and therapies as needed for optimal outcomes.

It’s important to note that while in-house laboratories provide quick results, certain specialised tests may still need to be sent to external reference laboratories. We will determine the appropriate testing approach based on your pet’s specific needs.

Why do we do blood tests?

Blood tests are invaluable tools in assessing and monitoring your pet’s health. They provide a wealth of information that can aid in diagnosing medical conditions, tracking treatment progress, and overall evaluating your pet’s well-being. Here are some key aspects where blood tests offer valuable insights:

  • Organ function: Blood tests help evaluate the functioning of vital organs such as the liver, kidneys, pancreas, and thyroid. Abnormalities in specific blood markers can indicate organ dysfunction or disease.
  • CBC: This test assesses the components of blood, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It helps identify conditions such as anaemia, infections, and blood clotting disorders.
  • Blood chemistry panel: A comprehensive panel measures various substances and enzymes in the blood, providing information about electrolyte balance, glucose levels, liver enzymes, kidney function, protein levels, and more. These results can assist in detecting metabolic disorders, diabetes, liver disease, and kidney problems.
  • Hormone levels: Blood tests can evaluate hormone levels, such as thyroid hormones or reproductive hormones. This aids in diagnosing hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, and reproductive issues.
  • Infections and immune system: Blood tests can detect the presence of infectious agents, such as bacteria or viruses, and assess the immune system’s response. They are valuable in diagnosing conditions like viral infections, tick-borne diseases, and autoimmune disorders.
  • Monitoring ongoing conditions: Regular blood tests help monitor chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, or hyperthyroidism. They provide insight into treatment effectiveness and guide adjustments in medication or therapies.

By analysing blood test results, our veterinarians can detect early signs of disease, identify underlying conditions, and develop appropriate treatment plans tailored to your pet’s specific needs. Routine blood testing is often recommended as part of preventive care, especially for senior pets, to catch potential health issues before they become more serious.

How do we take blood samples from your pet?

When we take a blood sample from your pet, we follow a standard procedure to ensure a safe and accurate collection. Here’s a general overview of what happens when our vets take a blood sample:

  • Preparation: The veterinarian or veterinary technician gathers the necessary equipment, including a sterile needle, syringe or collection tube, and any required collection accessories such as vacutainers or anticoagulants.
  • Restraint and positioning: Depending on the size and temperament of the animal, they may need to be gently restrained or positioned to allow access to the desired blood collection site. This may involve using gentle handling techniques or assistance from a veterinary nurse or owner.
  • Site preparation: The chosen site for blood collection is typically cleaned with an antiseptic solution to reduce the risk of contamination. The area is often shaved to improve visibility and facilitate a successful collection.
  • Needle insertion: Using a sterile needle, the veterinarian carefully punctures a vein at the selected site. Common sites for blood collection in pets include the jugular vein (in the neck), cephalic vein (in the front leg), or femoral vein (in the hind leg). The needle is inserted swiftly and at an appropriate angle to access the vein.
  • Blood collection: Once the needle is inserted into the vein, the veterinarian may apply gentle pressure or use a vacuum system to draw the required amount of blood into the syringe or collection tube. The process is usually relatively quick, taking only a few seconds.
  • Needle removal and site care: After the blood sample is collected, the veterinarian removes the needle from the vein. Pressure may be applied to the collection site using cotton or gauze to aid in clotting and minimise bleeding. If necessary, the site may be covered with a small bandage or adhesive strip.
  • Sample handling: The collected blood sample is carefully labelled with the pet’s information and any necessary details. It is then properly stored and prepared for analysis in Swan Street Vet’s in-house laboratory.

Throughout the procedure, our specialised staff ensure the comfort and safety of the animal. They may use gentle handling techniques, distraction techniques, or provide treats or praise to help keep the pet calm and cooperative.

It’s important to note that the specific blood collection technique and equipment may vary depending on the animal species, size, and the specific purpose of the blood test. Our veterinarians are trained professionals who take precautions to minimise any potential discomfort or complications during the blood sampling process.

If you have any inquiries or concerns regarding blood tests, please don’t hesitate to contact Swan Street Vet. Our knowledgeable team is here to assist you. Feel free to reach us at (03)9111 0000. We’re happy to address any questions you may have.