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
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.