Why our furry friends require blood tests

September 8, 2020

Blood tests for your cats and dogs

One of the best ways to get a clear picture of your pet’s health is through blood tests. They can reveal the health of the internal organs, the immune system, or even the type of injury or disease your cat or dog may have.

A blood test consists of looking at cells in the blood: Complete Blood Count (CBC) or chemicals in the blood (biochemistry).

What do blood tests check?

One of the main tests we conduct is a complete blood count (CBC). The CBC looks at the red and white blood cell count and platelets, as well as the appearance and condition of the cells. This can show how well your pet’s blood is carrying oxygen (red cells), or their immune system response (white cells). This in turn detects the presence of injury, inflammation or disease activity.

Biochemistry detects and measures levels of enzymes, blood sugar and other metabolites, electrolytes, proteins including albumin and globulins and hormone levels such as thyroid levels and cortisol.

These chemicals relate to specific organs. Some examples are proteins (kidney and liver), hormones (endocrine system), electrolytes (overall body function) glucose (pancreas), cholesterol (heart and artery health), and enzymes (digestive and metabolic). These enzymes and chemicals give us an insight into the internal health of your pet and we can provide the most effective treatment for your pet.

When do pets need blood tests?

  • Pre-Anaesthetic Blood Test – blood tests conducted prior to your pet’s surgery, dentistry and is important in senior pets. These blood tests are usually performed on the same day as the anaesthesia and the results indicate if anaesthesia, to exclude any issues with anaesthesia or risks in the procedures we’re about to perform.
  • Emergency situations – Blood tests are often the first step when injured or sick pets are brought into the clinic as it gives an insight into the current health status. It assists the vets with immediate decisions to help treat your pet.
  • Monitoring Medication – blood tests allow us to know if the dose of treatment is appropriate and effective, recognise and treat any side effects and thus, we can adjust doses or medication if necessary.
  • Preventative care – Preventative care screening not only uncovers disease but allows us to perform further investigation if required, so we can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment for your pet.  give your loved ones the appropriate treatment.

How are blood tests done?

We can perform blood tests as part of our standard consultations, or when your pet is admitted in our clinic for treatment or a procedure.

To undertake a blood test, we clip a little fur from the area we need to access, either on a limb or near the neck. We use a needle to collect the blood from a vein into specialised tubes. This is similar to human blood tests.

Our in-house testing facilities can provide results in under 30 minutes, which means we can begin treatment as soon as possible. Book a routine check-up with us today and we can discuss the best diagnostic tools for your pet’s needs and stage of life.

Got a question?

We’re here to help you with any urgent enquiries or assistance you might need. Need a little extra help, or not sure if you should bring your pet in for a check-up? Give our team a call and we’ll happily answer your questions.