During your pet’s wellness examination, you may have wondered why certain diagnostic tests were ordered. 

Your pet’s Blood work, or lab work, is commonly done to assess your pet’s overall health and the health of the organs. There are some important tests we order to ensure your pet’s best health and wellness, and we would like to explain some of them to you.

Complete Blood Count

You may have heard us say that we are ordering a CBC or complete blood count for your pet. It is one of the most basic of blood tests, but can tell us much about how the body is functioning. This test analyzes the white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets to determine their shape, quantity, and so on. It can show us whether or not there is an infection or if your pet suffers from anemia. 

The CBC also can pinpoint issues with blood clotting, the cells ability to carry oxygen to the lungs, determine blood marrow health, and alert us to nutritional deficiencies.

Other Blood Tests

There are many other things we test for by looking under the microscope. Common diseases and illnesses can show up as well as whether or not there is good organ function. Through these tests we can take a closer look at:

  • Glucose
  • Proteins
  • Endocrine levels
  • Cholesterol
  • Electrolytes
  • Digestive enzymes

Blood work can identify diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease, anemia, hormonal issues, heartworm, and liver disease, among others. Lab work, including chemistry panels, can determine complex issues affecting the internal systems of the body. It’s one of the most valuable tools we have in early detection and management of disease, giving us great insight into your pet’s total health.

When Is Blood Work Order?

Diagnostic testing that includes blood work is a part of your pet’s wellness examination. Depending on their age, health, and the appearance of symptoms that need investigating, various tests may be ordered.

Typically, blood work will be a part of the exam when…

  • It is your pet’s first appointment with us and we want to get a baseline of health for them
  • When you pet is displaying symptoms of illness or disease
  • Routine testing for heartworm and other common issues
  • When your pet is considered a senior
  • When your pet needs surgery
  • Regular management of disease (diabetes, kidney disease, etc.)

We hope this overview of the essential elements and importance of blood tests has been helpful. If you have further questions, we at Godspeed Animal Care are here to answer them. Simply call us or ask at your pet’s next wellness appointment.