The purpose of a clinical diagnostics laboratory is to help develop new drugs and treatments. From developing heartworm antigen test kits to other kinds of contract laboratory services, the purpose of a clinical diagnostics laboratory is to make sure that all of the treatments and medicines are ready for use in the real world. And while many people think about medicines and treatments for themselves, the fact of the matter is that the use of a clinical diagnostics laboratory can also be used for the development for farm animals and pets. In fact, an entire industry revolves around finding the best treatments and medications that are distributed by veterinarians.
Both food safety testing for humans and drug testing for both humans and animals actually use some of the same kinds of procedures and equipment. In a time when many Americans are worrying about the news about the seriousness of this year’s flu virus, some of the latest developments indicate that this strain can even pass from humans to their dogs. This is just one example of the many reasons that laboratories across the country continue to develop and test medicines and vaccines that provide essential protection.
Consider some of these facts and figures about heartworm medications and other treatments that help people protect both their farm animals and pets:
- 2 million people own horses, an animal that is susceptible to many kinds of diseases and illnesses if not properly treated and cared for.
- 70 to 80 million dogs are owned in the U.S.
- 74 to 96 million cats are owned in the U.S.
- Heartworm treatment can cost as much as $1,000. This amount makes giving an inexpensive monthly preventive a bargain in comparison.
- 1 million dogs are tested as heartworm positive in the U.S. each year.
- One of the problems with animal viruses is that they can so easily spread. For instance, just one-fifth of a teaspoon of blood from a chronic case of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) during a feverish episode contains enough virus to infect as many as 10,000 horses.
- When horses are exposed to EIAV, they may develop severe, acute signs of disease and die within as little as two to three weeks.
- While infected with heartworm, dogs may have 30 or more worms in their heart and lungs. In comparison, cats usually have six or fewer, sometimes only one or two. Although the severity of heartworm disease in dogs is related to the number of worm, in cats, just one or two worms can make a cat very ill.
Veterinary laboratory services and veterinary laboratory supplies help animal owners make sure that their horses, dogs, and cats are properly cared for and that they stay healthy.