Gastrointestinal Laboratory


The GI Lab at Texas A&M University provides specialized testing services to help veterinarians diagnose and treat gastrointestinal diseases in dogs and cats.

These tests may help in the management of pets with vomiting, weight loss, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or poor body condition.

All samples must be submitted by a veterinarian. Veterinary specialists in Internal Medicine certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine are available for consultation to discuss interpretation of test results with submitting veterinarians, and their implications for patient management.

We cannot give advice directly to pet owners due to licensure issues.

Confused about Lipase Assays? Recently, questions have been asked regarding various lipase testing methods for pancreatitis.

The measurement of pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (PLI; as measured by Spec cPL® in dogs and Spec fPL® in cats) has become the standard for the diagnosis of acute and chronic pancreatitis in either species. While no diagnostic test is 100% sensitive and specific, these assays have been repeatedly shown to be far superior to the measurement of serum lipase activity. Recently, catalytic assays for the measurement of serum lipase activity have been marketed with claims of comparable diagnostic utility to the measurement of serum PLI concentrations. While these assays utilize substrates other than the traditional 1,2 diglyceride (i.e., triolein in the case of v-Lip-P and DGGR in the case of PrecisionPSLTM Pancreatic Sensitive Lipase and several others), none of these other substrates are entirely specific for the measurement of pancreatic lipase and consequently they may detect other lipases that do not originate from the exocrine pancreas. Therefore, the only assays that are specific for the measurement of pancreatic lipase remain Spec cPL and Spec fPL. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding lipase assays.