Paws 'N Claws Veterinary Clinic

225 N. Lemay Ave., #2
Fort Collins, CO 80524






Our in-house laboratory facilities provide fast and accurate testing to assure quality care.  We also utilize commercial veterinary laboratories for specialized diagnostics and consultations.


Bloodwork - This yearly blood screen is an excellent tool to evaluate the status of the internal organs. We have identified diseases in "apparently healthy" animals presented for routine annual vaccinations. By early identification the great majority of these pets were able to undergo treatment early in the disease process and ultimately, be saved from most serious consequences. Many pets are found to have subtle abnormalities, yet still be normal clinically, which became good baseline information for these pet owners should a real disease be contracted later.


Complete Blood Count (CBC) - This is the most common blood test performed on pets and people. A CBC gives information on hydration status, anemia, infection, the blood's clotting ability, and the ability of the immune system to respond. This test is essential for pets with fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, pale gums, or loss of appetite. If your pet needs surgery, a CBC can detect bleeding disorders or other unseen abnormalities.


Chemistry Panel - These common blood serum tests evaluate organ function, electrolyte status, hormone levels and more. They are important in evaluating older pets, pets with vomiting & diarrhea or toxin exposure, pets receiving long-term medications, and health before anesthesia.


Thyroid Profile - Certain breeds are more susceptible to hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels). Signs include a decrease in exercise tolerance, muscle weakness, increased susceptibility to disease, and unhealthy skin & coat. Hypothyroidism can also seriously affect multiple body systems. Many of these dogs will develop secondary liver, skin, heart disease, gain excessive weight, have increased thirst and urination patterns and some may develop seizures. A simple blood test will help identify hypothyroidism and once diagnosed, medication can be prescribed to effectively control the disease and reverse most symptoms.


Heartworm Test - Heartworm is a fatal disease spread only by the bite of mosquitoes. We test annually for heartwom. The test is necessary whether or not your pet is an inside or outside pet, and it is necessary whether or not your pet is on heartworm preventative year round. Since it only takes one mosquito bite to cause disease all pets are vulnerable. The test requires a small blood sample and can be performed while you wait.


Feline Leukemia & Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Test - These two diseases are associated will illness and death in more cats than any other infectious agent. They suppress the immune system & leave cats susceptible to other diseases. There is no cure for feline leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus. We recommend that all kittens be tested before being introduced into a household. Older cats should be tested every 2 to 5 years depending on their lifestyle.


Intestinal Parasite Fecal Analysis - Since some internal parasites can infect people, yearly stool tests protect both you & your pet. There are intestinal parasites that your pet may be exposed to on a regular basis. Infection can occur from mother to kitten/puppy while nursing or when your pet consumes eggs, larvae or a contaminated host (rodent or rabbit). Humans & pets can become infected while walking in grass, sand or soil that has been tainted by fecal material. Therefore, it is important to check annually for parasites. The test is performed by examining a small quantity of stool through a microscopic flotation exam to identify characteristic parasite eggs.


Liver Profile - A liver profile is a blood test that tells us how well your pet's liver is working. A typical liver profile includes liver enzymes, bilirubin & bile acids. Elevated liver enzymes may be caused by damaged liver tissue. Bilirubin is a reddish-yellow material that comes from the normal or abnormal destruction of red blood cells. In liver disease and liver failure the bilirubin is not excreted as it should. If elevated, it could indicate that the liver is not functioning well. Bile is the product that causes jaundice or yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes. Bile acids are pulled out of the blood stream by the liver.  If the bile acids are high, this could indicate liver problems.


Urinalysis - This is the best screening tool to identify the early stages of upper urinary tract disease (kidney disease) and the only test to diagnose lower urinary tract disease (bladder infections and stones). Certain breeds have an increased incidence of stones and a urinalysis is a good screening tool to aid in early recognition of the disease. It is well known that 75% of the functional kidney tissue will be lost before a blood test will detect kidney disease; therefore, a urinalysis is an extremely important tool in establishing a diagnosis early in the course of kidney disease. Diseases such as diabetes and certain liver and endocrine diseases may also show changes in the urine. Other tests can look for tiny amounts of protein in the urine - protein that is only present when something is not right. If protein is detected, it could mean that your pet's kidneys are damaged or diseased. A urinalysis can be the first step in detecting many underlying medical conditions that cause kidney damage.