Even pets that seem lively, wide-eyed, and in the best of health can have hidden medical problems. Left undetected, these problems could grow into serious, even life-threatening conditions. Blood tests are essential tools for identifying diseases at the earliest stage possible, when they are the most treatable.
Blood tests can be used to detect, treat, and prevent potentially dangerous illnesses. Sick or elderly animals often have more than one disease affecting them at the same time, complicating diagnosis and treatment. Blood tests can help pinpoint specific problems. In addition, some medications can be harmful if your pet has certain underlying problems, such as kidney or liver disease. In such cases, your veterinarian may order blood tests to make sure your pet is healthy enough to take the medication. Finally, even in young and healthy pets, laboratory testing helps your veterinarian establish a baseline picture of what represents good health for your individual pet. Blood tests are recommended as part of your pet’s annual physical examination. In this way, your veterinarian can spot health trends sooner, before they become more serious.
Types of Blood Tests
- Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC)—provides important information about the types and numbers of blood cells in your pet’s blood. A low number of red blood cells, for example, indicates anemia, while a high number of white blood cells can indicate an infection, chronic inflammation, or other disease process.
- Blood Chemistry Profile—is particularly important for evaluating organ function, electrolytes, blood sugar, or screening for clues that an endocrine disorder may be present. Any abnormalities will help direct your pet’s veterinarian on any further diagnostic tests that may be necessary.
When Blood Tests May be Recommended
Blood tests may be recommended usually before anesthesia is administered, as an essential part of patient evaluation in preparation for a medical procedure or surgery. Blood screening will be performed to test for organ function and to determine if your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. Your veterinarian will decide which tests are most important to run. Blood screening may also be recommended as part of your pet’s annual physical examination—both to spot problems as early as possible and to develop a baseline picture of your pet’s health. If your veterinarian suspects a health problem and needs additional information to make an accurate or complete diagnosis, blood screening may be recommended. If your veterinarian recommends medications for your pet that might be contraindicated if he or she has certain underlying diseases, then blood testing would be performed prior to starting any new medications.
Call Franklin Ranch for an appointment today at (916) 683-4000.