Specialty Wellness Tests

Detecting serious diseases early gives you the best options to manage them. Specialty blood tests give you the early detection you need.

Early Cancer Detection with a Blood Test

With 1 in 3 dogs getting cancer in their life time, and 50% of those over the age of 10 succumbing from this deadly disease, it’s often asked if there is some way we can detect it sooner. Early detection (screening) is possible using a blood test that looks for early signs of abnormal cell proliferation and inflammation. The Cancer Risk Assessment is designed to give you warning that an early or occult cancer is present OR that the dog or cat is in a state that increases the risk of cancer developing within the next 6 months.

Dog getting a checkup.

It is not a DNA test

The Cancer Risk Assessment is not a DNA test. It does not tell you if the dog is predisposed to cancer, or if there are floating strands of DNA that may indicate cancer.

It IS a disease activity test

The Cancer Risk Assessment IS a disease activity test. More specifically it’s a disease activity test that is a function of total disease mass (ie tumor size) & cellular activity. By looking at disease activity, the Cancer Risk Assessment is able to pick up on subtle changes in the body that increase the risk of cancer and disease development. As an activity test, it becomes useful to identifying trending actions such as a slow growing cancer that may otherwise go unnoticed until it’s well advanced. Additionally, disease activity markers tend to respond well to disease management (therapy) and will drop accordingly when successful.

Testing Basics

Which Animals?

  • Apparently healthy ->
  • Adult & senior pets
  • High Risk breeds (ie. golden retrievers)
  • Purebred dogs
  • History of cancer in the line
  • Proactive/concerned pet parents

Apparently Healthy

Screening tests are designed for apparently healthy pets with no underlying chronic inflammatory disease or cancer. If the dog or cat is suspected of cancer, use a VDI Cancer Diagnostic Panel.

How Often?

  • Annual testing for pets over 2
  • Bi-annual as pets approach senior age
  • Bi-annual for high-risk breeds
  • Optimal intervals (based on clinical study) is every 4months. [Read More]

Sample Requirements

  • Serum
  • Frozen or Dry shipping
  • Fasting not required
  • Avoid severe hemolysis
  • Avoid severe lipemia

Ordering CRA

Cancer Risk Assessment can be added to any basic wellness panel. CRA is included with the Complete Wellness Panel.

[See Full Test Menu]


  • Animals on corticosteroids
  • Animals on NSAIDS
  • Not for animals <1 year old
  • Pets with history of cancer, should be cancer free for 2 years prior to using CRA. Otherwise the Cancer Panel should be used.

Joint Health Assessment with a Blood Test

Degenerative Joint Diseases (DJD) are common afflictions in dogs and cats, with Osteoarthritis (OA) being the most prevalent. While typically affecting older and high-risk animals like the giant breed dogs, DJD can impact pets of all ages and demographics. Unfortunately, when degeneration starts it progresses slowly and is well hidden by the animal until it’s well advanced, reducing the options for treatment.

Great Dane Running

Hyaluronic Acid: marker of DJD

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is found in the synovial fluid of the joint. As degeneration and breakdown occur, HA leaks out into the blood stream where it is detected. As degeneration occurs, the level of HA increases, making it an effective test for DJD.

Early Detection, More Options

Detecting DJD early gives your client more options for management. Joints are one of the most well covered areas for supplements, nutraceuticals, specialized diets, and therapies. Knowing which patients would benefit most will help guide which products and services are most suitable for them. Catch DJD early, intervene early, slow or stop the progression of the disease.

Testing Basics

What to watch for?

  • Decreased activity
  • Stiffness, limping, favoring
  • Trouble getting up
  • Pain to the touch
  • Lagging on walks, lameness
  • Whimpering/yelping in pain
  • Behavior changes

Which Pets?

  • Adult & seniors
  • Active/sporting dogs
  • Agility dogs
  • Working dogs
  • Large & giant breeds
  • Dog Breeds prone to skeletal disorders (bulldogs, dachshund, etc)

How Often?

  • Annual testing for adults
  • Once joint damage is identified and is being managed, the test can be used to monitor how well the damage is being controlled and slowed. Intervals will be determined by the therapy.

Sample Requirements

  • Serum
  • Frozen or Dry shipping
  • Fasting not required
  • Avoid severe hemolysis
  • Avoid severe lipemia

Ordering HA testing

Hyaluronic Acid can be added to any wellness panel. Listed as OA Assessment. HA is also available in diagnostic panels for osteoarthritis.

[See Full Test Menu]


  • Animals on corticosteroids
  • Animals with liver disease