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Tuesday, March 03 2015
Importance of Annual Blood Tests for Pets

Blood Analysis - A vital tool for screening out disease.

Even pets that appear happy and healthy can have hidden medical problems that might grow serious, even life-threatening, if left undetected. Blood tests are essential for identifying diseases at the earliest most treatable stage possible.

Pets can’t tell us when they’re ill - that’s where lab tests like blood analyses come in.

The importance of blood tests.

Detection through blood tests helps prevent and treat potentially dangerous illnesses. Sick or senior pets often have more than one disease affecting them, complicating diagnosis and treatment. Blood tests can help pinpoint the problems. Some medications can harm pets with underlying problems like kidney or liver disease. Blood tests can ensure your pet is healthy enough to take the medication. Even in young and healthy pets, lab testing gives us a valuable baseline picture of what represents good health for your individual pet. A recommended part of your pet’s annual exam, blood tests can spot health trends sooner, before they become more serious.

What does a blood test look for?

Standard blood test panels for dogs and cats routinely check for many problems, commonly:

  • Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC) provides important information about the types and number of blood cells in your pet’s blood. A low red blood cell count, for example, indicates anemia, while a high white blood cell count can indicate an infection, chronic infl ammation or other disease process.
  • Blood Chemistry Profile is particularly important for evaluating organ function (e.g., liver, kidneys), electrolytes, blood sugar,screening for presence of an endocrine disorder, etc. Any abnormalities will help us decide on further diagnostic tests or treatments.
  • Heartworm Test can detect evidence of heartworm disease. For a more complete picture, we will often combine a blood panel with other tests, such as a urinalysis and fecal examination.


Questions & Answers

Why does my young dog need annual blood tests?
When basic lab testing is done as part of your pet’s annual exam, the results are recorded. We can then review your pet’s fi le at each subsequent exam and spot any abnormalities or trends sooner, before serious diseases can develop.

My 8-year-old cat is perfectly healthy but her doctor suggested a group of blood tests as part of her annual examination. Why?
Older animals are more at risk for chronic conditions like kidney or liver disease and endocrine problems. Early on, there may not be any outward signs of trouble, so your pet may still seem quite normal. More frequent testing can help catch potential health problems in the early stages, before they become more difficult to manage or even life-threatening.

Blood test for pets

Posted by: Dr Barry Neichin, DVM AT 01:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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Dr. Barry Neichin

Dr. Barry Neichin
Chief of Staff
ABC Veterinary Hospital
San Marcos CA

When he's not busy with his duties at the hospital, Dr. Neichin can be found outside, either on the trails hiking and camping or in the water snorkeling and skin diving, as well as spending time with his two children. His family also includes Tonka, a Golden Retriever; Leo, a miniature Golden Doodle; Cosmo, a Siamese, and Ruffles, a rabbit.
More about Dr. Neichin -->

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