Veterinary Diagnostics – Overview

Catachem continues to work closely with its customers to design specialty chemistry tests and tailor these to the specific needs and demands of the veterinary laboratory. Some examples of the results of these collaborations are illustrated below:

ß-Hydroxybutyrate (C444-series):

Diabetic animals build up high levels of keto acids in their blood. The measurement of keto acids is therefore of considerable value in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic animals. Two keto acids are produced in a diabetic animal, beta-hydroxybutyrate and aceto acetate. The latter is produced in smaller amounts and is inherently unstable, while the former, beta-hydroxybutyrate, is comparatively stable. Catachem has a simple and accurate assay for beta-hydroxybutyrate (C444-0A) that can be applied to most clinical analyzers. Unlike some competitive products that use a strong formazan dye which stains cuvettes and instrument reagent lines, the Catachem reagent uses an alternative chemistry that eliminates these problems.

Fructosamine (C414-series):

Diabetic animals also produce high levels of fructosamine, a molecule in which glucose in the blood binds to certain blood proteins in a process called glycation. Measuring fructosamine levels gives a much more accurate assessment of an animal’s glycemic control than glucose, as the latter fluctuates throughout the day. Monitoring fructosamine over time, in a manner similar to the monitoring of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in humans, allows the vet to assess the effectiveness of treatment. Catachem has a single liquid stable fructosamine reagent for this purpose.

Bromide (C422/C424-series):

Potassium bromide is a drug used alongside phenobarbital to control nervous system disorders in dogs. Like most drugs, it can be toxic at high levels and as dogs are genetically variable in size it is important to measure levels of circulating bromide in the animal’s blood to ensure correct dosing. Catachem’s bromide reagent accurately determines levels from the lowest level of detection of 5 mg/dL to 400 mg/dL. Toxicity in most dogs starts at around 120 mg/dL with the animal becoming lethargic. As levels increase, animals can become comatose.

Plasma Free Hemoglobin (C462-0A):

Normal plasma should not contain free hemoglobin. If blood is taken from an animal and is processed or manipulated in any way (dialysis, heart pump etc.) or if the animal has suffered intravascular hemolysis, caused by a number of disease states, damage to the red blood cells will be evident as hemoglobin is released into the plasma. Catachem has developed an extremely sensitive assay to accurately measure very small amounts of hemoglobin that may be present in a plasma sample. The method can be run on most clinical chemistry analyzers unlike similar methods in the past. The method is sensitive and accurate enough to measure hemoglobin at levels approaching 2 mg/dL (1.2 µmol/L). The method demonstrates linearity on most analyzers to 100 mg/dL (60 µmol/L).

Ethylene Glycol – Quantitative Test (C504-0A):

Ethylene Glycol is a key component in most antifreeze products. The ingestion of ethylene glycol can quickly poison an animal and lead to irreversible liver and kidney damage if poisoning is not determined to have occurred and is not quickly treated. If ethylene glycol is shown to be present in an animal’s blood, treatment is relatively simple. Catachem has developed an accurate quantitative test (C504-0A) that determines ethylene glycol levels. Values obtained on Catachem’s quantitative test reagent compare closely to values obtained on GC/MS methods (Am.J.Clin.Pathol. 2011, 136:165-6). Catachem’s product has been designed to effectively eliminate interferences from propylene glycol, a secondary component in some antifreeze products and also a chemical used as an additive to some veterinary drugs and foodstuffs.
NOTE: Neither Diethylene Glycol or the antidote 4-methylpyrazole (fomepizole), the latter tested to a level of 30 g/L, showed any interference in the assay.

Ethylene Glycol – Qualitative Test (C504-0B):

Catachem’s qualitative in-office test requires no instrumentation and uses the same enzymatic technology as its quantitative partner. Although it is subject to somewhat more interference, the test offers the veterinarian a useful tool in an emergency, time-sensitive situation. The test kit comes with all components needed to evaluate whether an animal has ingested ethylene glycol. Each test uses a parallel control to ensure that reading errors are eliminated and each test kit comes with all the components required to carry out three individual tests. NOTE: No interference was found in this assay from 4-methyl pyrazole (Fomepizole), the common antidote, which was tested to a level of 3,000 mg/dL (30 g/L). Click here for a demonstration of the Ethylene Glycol Qualitative test.

Ethylene Glycol – FasTox Test Kit (C504-0C):

Designed for the low volume user for use on a simple spectrophotometer (340 nm wavelength), this product provides three semi-quantitative tests each with low and high controls. Each test is designed for one time use directly off the shelf with a shelf life of approximately 18 months. Mirroring Catachem’s quantitative test formulation, it is not subject to common interferences like propylene glycol. The format of the kit involving the use of both low and high controls during each test run eliminates any need for additional calibration.

Glutamate Dehydrogenase (GLDH) Test Reagent (C550-01):

GldH or GDH exhibits activity in the liver, kidney, pancreas, and brain. The enzyme’s activity in blood serum is used to differentiate between types of liver diseases. Where general liver inflammation often shows no elevation in GldH, hepatocyte necrosis will show elevated serum GldH levels. GldH measurement has also been used in detecting Clostridium difficile infection (J. Clin. Microbial. 2010, 48(8) 3050). Catachem’s method is a UV method utilizing a single stable liquid reagent. It can easily be adapted for most chemistry analyzers and has an 18 month shelf life.


For more information on our Ethylene Glycol assays, please view our brochure.

For more information on all of our veterinary specialty assays, please view our brochure.