Pet Health Screening Tests
in Jacksonville, FL

Preventative care includes yearly blood work even when your pet appears healthy. This provides a valuable base line of what your pet’s normal organ function looks like. When animals show us that they feel sick, their diseases are often in a more advanced stage. Routine lab work allows us to find many of these diseases in earlier stages which makes treatment and/or management more effective.

Wellness Labs

We offer many wellness profiles that offer a good baseline for further evaluation of your pet’s overall health. There are many things that can be found on a physical examination. When combining physical examination findings along with laboratory results, we are able to paint a better picture of your pet’s health. As your pet ages, the importance of such baseline labs becomes increasingly important. Just like in human medicine, routine lab panels are a good way to catch health conditions early. This allows us to intervene and make necessary adjustments to a pet’s diet or medication regimen. Some panels of blood and/or urine tests are performed when a pet is taking long term medications to ensure that a pet can continue to take his or her medications safely. Routine lab work is sent out to the reference lab. Using the outside lab we are able to get a more comprehensive panel of testing at a very reasonable cost. When we need results fast we are able to perform some testing in our in-house lab. We are able to perform:

  • CBCs (Complete Blood cell Counts)
  • Chemistry profiles (evaluation of the blood proteins
  • Liver Enzymes
  • Kidney Values
  • Electrolytes
  • Blood Sugar
  • Calcium Levels
  • Heartworm
  • Tick-Borne Sisease
  • Feline Leukemia
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
To learn more about our wellness panels or panels that are performed when a pet is taking a long term medication, please contact us or schedule an appointment.

DNA Testing

DNA testing tells you the different breeds your dog is made up of. Some DNA testing companies also provide valuable information about diseases that your pet may be predisposed to. Our favorite company is Embark. Fun Fact! Dr. M helped collect the initial samples for the Embark database while she was a vet student. Embark was developed by researchers and veterinarians at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Their canine DNA tests utilize the greatest number of genetic markers (>200,000) compared to any test on the market, providing the highest resolution of results and the most accurate breed analysis. Their health test also screens for over 200 genetic diseases. Additionally, as more diseases’ genetic links are discovered, Embark continually updates the profiles of dogs whose DNA has already been tested. When Dr. M tested her own dog, Atlas, several years ago, Embark only tested for about 160 diseases, but Atlas has still benefited from all of their ongoing research and his reports have been updated to include results from these additional diseases.

Hip Dysplasia Screening Scheme

Canine hip dysplasia (abnormal development of the hip joint) begins when the hip joint in a young dog becomes loose or unstable. If left undiagnosed and untreated, this instability causes abnormal wear of the hip cartilage and ultimately progresses to osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. Signs of this condition are pain, reluctance to get up or exercise, difficulty climbing stairs, a “bunny-hopping” gait, limping, and lameness, especially after periods of inactivity or exercise. Hip dysplasia most commonly affects large- and giant-breed dogs; however, smaller dogs can also be affected. Although genetics often play a role in this disorder, young dogs that grow or gain weight too quickly or get too much high-impact exercise are also at risk. Being overweight can aggravate hip dysplasia. We can perform hip x-rays under light sedation, which allows for proper positioning. Our veterinarians can also perform specific manipulations of the hips to confirm diagnosis and discuss potential treatment options, which may include referral to a local board-certified orthopedic surgeon.

When Will A Veterinarian Recommend a Comprehensive Screening Panel?


The following situations can result in blood work being suggested:

  • On the first veterinary visit: We recommend kittens and puppies complete blood tests to rule out congenital diseases, for baseline information, and for pre-anesthetic testing prior to spaying or neutering.

  • During semi-annual wellness exams: This is recommended as part of a thorough physical examination because cat or dog's blood work, along with other bodily fluids like urine, can help identify conditions that the examination portion of a physical cannot.

  • If an animal seems not quite right: blood tests are suitable for an animal that is not displaying any overt signs of illness, disease, or injury but is acting abnormally.

  • Pre-surgical tests: Cat or dog blood work is used to determine the efficiency of the liver and kidneys, which helps a veterinarian select the safest dose of anesthesia. Tests can also help determine the surgical risk level in infirm, elderly, or injured dogs.

  • Prior to starting a new medication: This is particularly useful for new medications that may be metabolized by the liver or kidney.

  • During senior wellness exams: Blood tests are usually recommended for mature, senior, and geriatric animals as part of their periodic wellness exams. They are extremely beneficial, as we often see seniors return to a more youthful state when blood tests identify an issue that can be easily treated.

It should be expected that diagnostic testing will be performed during every routine wellness visit. If you have any questions, give us a call at (904)436-PETS