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Dr. Phillip Schwarzlose and his staff look forward to meeting you and your pet family.

Please call for an appointment today.

Testing... Testing...

When your pet is ill or injured your veterinarian is likely to recommend tests to help determine the cause or extent of the problem.  As appropriate, a combination of blood work, urinalysis, cytology, or X-rays can provide valuable information about your pet’s condition, allowing the doctor to treat effectively.  That makes sense, of course.  Are there other times when your pet could benefit from laboratory testing of one kind or another? You bet there are!

When you bring your healthy pet to the vet for an annual exam and vaccines, there are screening tests your vet will recommend.  Most dog owners are familiar with annual testing for heartworms.  This is a simple test requiring only a few drops of blood, and it is important because heartworms, left untreated, are deadly.  We even want to test dogs who are on a regular heartworm preventative, because 1) nothing in life is 100% and 2) early detection means both easier treatment and less permanent damage to your pet.   Cat owners know about the blood test to detect feline leukemia and feline AIDS – especially important for those outdoor kitties with “risky lifestyles”.  And a fecal parasite screen can catch an infestation before your pet becomes very ill and/or transmits their parasites to you and yours!

Most of the time before surgery we will recommend, and sometimes insist upon, checking blood chemistries and a complete blood count (CBC).   The truth is we rarely find conditions that preclude surgery (although that has happened), usually we get perfectly healthy results, occasionally we discover health challenges that cause us to modify our approach for your pet’s safety.  We just really want everyone to be safe and go home happy at the end of the day.

Why would your veterinarian recommend additional lab work during a wellness exam?  There are a couple of reasons.  Maybe the trained veterinary eye has picked up on a subtle change in your pet and wants to make sure there isn’t a problem brewing.  Or maybe he or she doesn’t see a darn thing wrong with your pet and wants some baseline blood work to get a “snapshot” of your healthy pet – a great thing to have on file for comparison should your pet fall ill in the future.  And, honestly, often we are surprised – that is why they call it “practicing” medicine.  Most of the time we get to call the next day with results that are perfectly A-OK.  Sometimes even better than that!  Now and again we make an unexpected discovery: the cat who has only lost a half pound over six months but needs thyroid medication (caught it before the kidneys were compromised!), the dog who “might have been drinking a bit more water” who was hosting a raging urinary tract infection that was starting to affect his kidneys, and so, so many others.  Turns out “Early detection, Early cure” doesn’t just apply to human medicine!

Please consider allowing lab tests for your pet whenever your veterinarian recommends them.  We promise to be as gentle as possible (on both your pet and your wallet!) as we work with you to Care for the Life of Your Pet!


Our friends here are simply THE BEST! They care about our pets like we care about our pets. They go the extra mile. Dr. Phillip knows SO much about veterinary science, in his calm and unassuming way. Some people are born to it: that's him.

Rebecca K. / San Marcos, TX

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