Now that various veterinary diagnostic labs have geared up SARS-CoV-2 tests, there’s increasing discussion around if, when, how and why to test domestic animals (and actually, “where” is part of the discussion as well, so we’ll get all of those covered).

At first glance, it might seem like a strange question. Human testing is key

A few diagnostic labs in North America are now offering testing in animals for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Testing capacity is great to have and I’m glad some labs have geared up tests. BUT routine testing of pets, healthy or sick, isn’t something we’re recommending, for a few key reasons.

Testing as part

Life with Merlin is going fairly well and the house training has been surprisingly good (so far). He was straining a bit to poop yesterday so I was wondering if diarrhea was on the way. Diarrhea wouldn’t be too surprising since he’s had a pretty good shock to his system with a big lifestyle change

People might assume that diagnostic tests are created when researchers identify a condition that needs a new or better test, then develop the test and prove that it works (and helps with patient). However, sometimes it’s more a matter of a new test looking for a market rather than a disease looking for a test.

I’m getting a lot of questions now about canine aspects of this recall, so I’ve addressed my take on some of the important issues below.

Can Salmonella cause disease in dogs?

Absolutely. The common myth about dogs being immune to Salmonella (mainly found on raw food sites) is just that: a myth. Dogs can and

The title of this post describes a very basic concept, but one that is sometimes forgotten or hard to follow. The key point is that the goal of treating a sick pet is to make the pet well. Getting well and getting "normal" laboratory data aren’t necessarily the same thing.

A question that comes up

Recent Salmonella recalls have led to some questions about the best way to diagnose salmonellosis in dogs and cats.

The first issue is when to test. In general, there is no indication to test healthy animals. Testing should be reserved for animals with diarrhea or other signs of salmonellosis (e.g. fever).

When testing is indicated

Urinary tract infections are quite common in dogs. (They’re uncommon in cats, but a lot of cats get treated with antibiotics for non-infectious urinary tract disease.) An important aspect of managing urinary tract infections (UTIs) is getting a proper diagnosis. Diagnosing a UTI involves a few different things:

  • Clinical signs: Does the animal have