Illustrated Articles

Diagnosis

  • Addison's disease (the common name for hypoadrenocorticism) is caused by a decreased production of two hormones from the adrenal gland. These hormones are cortisol, a stress hormone, and aldosterone, a mineralocorticoid hormone that regulates the body's water balance through its effects on sodium and potassium.

  • Antibodies are specialized proteins, also called immunoglobulins that are primarily found in the bloodstream. They are produced by specialized white blood cells called plasma cells, a form of lymphocyte.

  • Having your pet properly prepared before blood collection helps to ensure that test results are as accurate and reliable as they can be. Sometimes abnormal test results say more about how the pet was prepared than about true illness.

  • The bone marrow produces most of the cellular elements that are found in blood, in particular the white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. If abnormalities are found in one or more of these components in a patient’s blood sample, examination of the bone marrow may help to determine the cause of the problem.

  • The first step in processing a blood sample is centrifugation. The blood is placed in a centrifuge, where it is spun in a small circle at high speed (much like a spinning ride at an amusement park).

  • Cerebrospinal fluid (or CSF) is formed within the brain, primarily at specialized sites called the choroid plexuses. CSF is found within the brain and in the space that surrounds both the brain and the spinal cord (this space is called the subarachnoid space).

  • Coagulation is the series of events that result in the formation of a clot. In the body, coagulation occurs after any injury to a blood vessel or tissue, in order to stop bleeding.

  • The Complete Blood Count, usually just called a CBC, is one of the most basic blood tests your veterinarian can request, and yet it is one of the most important tests for determining the health status of a pet. It includes a series of measurements that describe the quantity and quality of the cellular elements in the blood.

  • A Coombs' (or direct antiglobulin) test detects the presence of immunoglobulins (antibodies) on the surface of red blood cells. Immunoglobulins are proteins made by white blood cells (specifically plasma cells).

  • Cushing's disease is a condition caused by an increased production of the stress hormone cortisol by the adrenal glands.

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