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05 Diagnostic Tests



Selection of diagnostic tests is not an exact science, but knowing the prevalence of diseases associated with clinical signs and patient signalment can help to select tests likely to have the highest diagnostic utility.  For example, the CBC is a good screening test for overall health, but provides minimial diagnostic utility as to the cause of the lower urinary tract signs. Even for cats with bacterial infection of the bladder, CBC results are often unremarkable; however, acute kidney infection is usually associated with leukocytosis,   A serum chemistry profile will evaluate internal organ function, but even if abnormal results are detected, they are rarely helpful in explaining lower urinary tract signs.  Although both are very good screening tests, Nemo’s problem appears to be localized to the lower urinary tract.  To rule out the most common diseases Jan’s money would be best directed toward a urinalysis and X-rays. 

You explain to Jan that a urinalysis and radiographs will be the most important tests to help identify what is the underlying source of Nemo’s problem.  The urinalysis will identify the presence of blood, crystals, abnormal cells or infection.  The abdominal radiographs will look for urinary calculi. 

Jan agrees and consents to the urinalysis and abdominal radiographs. 



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