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.

  • Bone marrow is the soft material found in the central core of many bones. Bone marrow is vitally important for the production of blood cells, specifically red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. A healthy bone marrow is essential for life.

  • 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.

  • Cytology is the microscopic examination of cells that have been collected from body tissues. By examining the appearance of these cells and looking for inflammation or infection, it is often possible to diagnose specific diseases or determine the nature of a pet's illness (see article 'Cytology - General' for an introduction to Cytology).

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