Blood work is often overlooked as an important part of healthcare. It is easy to forget how quickly our pets change with age. Even though our pets can maintain a youthful attitude, their bodies can go through drastic changes we might not even notice. Pets can be very good at hiding little inconsistencies and small changes which can have an impact on their overall health. Blood work is an important way to ensure our pets are staying healthy and getting the best care we can give.
Blood testing for cats and dogs helps us diagnose and treat a variety of health conditions. Routine blood work, along with a thorough physical exam, give the veterinarian the most information about your pet’s health. Having this information helps us provide the best treatment and prevention recommendations possible. If your pet is being considered for surgery, we will need to run blood work to determine whether the pet is healthy enough to withstand a surgical procedure and what anesthesia would be best.
Why Blood Work Is Important for Dogs and Cats
Blood testing in conjunction with a thorough physical exam allow your veterinarian to determine the best route of treatment for your pet. Routine blood work that we may recommend includes:
- Complete blood count (CBC) — A CBC evaluates your pet’s red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Abnormalities can indicate infection, anemia, and blood clotting problems.
- Chemistry panel — A blood chemistry panel assesses your pet’s organ function, including their liver and kidneys.
- Parasite screening — Dogs should be screened annually for heartworm disease and tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis.
As pets age, additional tests, such as more specific kidney function and thyroid testing, may also be recommended.
Having a sick pet can be a scary thing. After all, they are part of the family.