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Diagnosis

  • Testing for diabetes includes confirming hyperglycemia and glucosuria while looking for other conditions by checking a CBC (anemia, infection), biochemistry profile (hepatic disease, pancreatitis) and a urinalysis (urinary tract infection). Monitoring includes regular glucose curves and additional exams and testing based on the pet owner’s monitoring of their cat’s clinical signs in the home setting. Urine glucose testing and fructosamine are sometimes used in diabetic monitoring and urine testing for infection may be recommended.

  • Albumin is an important protein that is normally found in the blood, but is not normally present in the urine of healthy pets.

  • An electrocardiogram, or ECG, is a test that is used to assess the heart. More specifically, an ECG measures the transmission of an electrical impulse through the heart. This test is not painful and is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. Analyzing the electrical impulses produced as the heart beats can help identify a number of different abnormalities within the heart.

  • FIP is a disease caused by a mutated (changed) strain of feline coronavirus. Unfortunately, routine blood testing for feline coronavirus is not clinically useful. Exposure to any strain of feline coronavirus will result in an immune response and the production of antibodies. A working diagnosis of FIP is typically made on the basis of the cat's clinical history, as well as supportive laboratory data. Histopathology remains the best way to diagnose FIP in the living cat.

  • One of the most common and useful medical diagnostic procedures is radiography or x-rays. The term x-rays originates from 1895 when the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the technique. Since he was unsure what exactly was producing the image on his plates, he titled his paper "On a New Kind of Rays" and the term "x"-rays was substituted for "unknown rays."

  • Abdominal enlargement is a general term that means a cat's belly is larger or fuller than usual and bulges beyond the normal outline of the body. Abdominal enlargement may develop for many reasons depending on the age and gender of the cat.

  • Heartworm disease is a parasitic disease that typically affects dogs but can occasionally occur in cats. Heartworm is usually diagnosed with a simple blood test. There are two main tests for detecting heartworm infection; one test detects adult worms and the other detects microfilaria.

  • Weight loss can be due to simple problems of feeding and nutrition, or can be due to a variety of medical conditions that result in poor digestion, decreased absorption of nutrients, or loss of nutrients from the body.

  • Diagnosis of hyperthyroidism includes screening the hormone output of the thyroid as well as screening for other systemic disease. This is achieved by running a complete blood count, biochemistry panel, urinalysis and total T4 (tT4). In cats with signs of hyperthyroidism but with tT4 levels in the upper half of the reference range will often have their free thyroid hormone tested using a special test called equilibrium dialysis. More advanced screening for hyperthyroidism includes the t3 suppression test and advanced imaging of the thyroid called scintigraphy.

  • An ultrasound machine emits and receives high frequency ultrasound waves through a transducer or probe. The probe is placed over the area of interest, directing the sound waves into the body. The ultrasound waves may be transmitted through, reflected from, or absorbed by the tissues that they encounter.