Educational Articles

Small Mammals + Diagnosis

  • An allergy is a state of over-reactivity or hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance called an allergen. Most allergens are proteins from plants, insects, animals, or foods. In dogs, the most common symptom associated with allergies is itchy skin, either localized (in one area) or generalized (all over the body). In other cases, the allergic symptoms affect the digestive system, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms of allergies can be confused with other disorders or occur concurrently with them.

  • The complete blood count (CBC) assesses different parameters of the cells in the blood including total number, appearance, size, and shape. Red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets comprise the cellular component of the blood. Changes in the red blood cells can affect oxygen delivery from the lungs to the blood. Changes in the white blood cells can indicate infection, inflammation, and cancer. Platelets are needed for adequate blood clotting so decreased numbers can raise concern for spontaneous bleeding.

  • Having your pet properly prepared for a blood test helps to ensure that the results are as accurate and reliable as possible. Preparation for these two types of tests is slightly different. Your veterinarian will give you specific instructions before your appointment. It is important that you follow these instructions exactly to ensure accurate test results.

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