Laboratory evaluation of gastrointestinal disease

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Clinical signs of gastrointestinal (GI) disease, such as changes in appetite, vomiting, weight loss and diarrhoea, are extremely common in small animal patients. When seeking advice from a veterinary surgeon, pet owners expect an accurate diagnosis and definitive therapy of the problem. In few cases can the diagnosis be made by physical examination alone, e.g. an oral foreign body. Usually the veterinary surgeon has to use tests to make a diagnosis, and a major challenge is to choose the most appropriate tests to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Intestinal biopsy is an important diagnostic test. This chapter informs on Tests for gastric diseases; Tests for intestinal diseases; Tests for hepatobiliary diseases; and Tests for exocrine pancreatic diseases.

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