Blood tests are an essential part of diagnosing what is ailing your pet, just as they are in human medicine and are helpful in diagnosing illnesses or injuries.
Common blood tests used by veterinarians
Blood testing is commonly used to help diagnose disease or pinpoint injury in animals. It can also help determine the state of your pet’s health during regular physical exam visits. Although a CBC or a chemistry profile can be performed separately, these tests are frequently done at the same time; when the results are interpreted together, they provide a good overview of many of the body’s functions. As with any other diagnostic test, results of a CBC and chemistry profile are not interpreted in a vacuum. Dr. Martin will combine this information with physical exam findings, medical history, and other information to assess your pet’s health status and determine if additional testing should be recommended.
Benefits of diagnostics and bloodwork
A CBC and chemistry profile is an important component of wellness blood work. Dr. Martin may recommend wellness blood work during your pet’s regular exams. Even if your pet is young and healthy, performing this testing periodically helps establish “normal” values for your pet. The next time blood work is performed, Dr. Martin can compare the results with previous results to see if anything has changed. Depending on your pet’s age and health history, additional tests (such as thyroid testing or urinalysis) may also be recommended as part of wellness testing. For seniors or chronically ill pets, it may be recommended to perform blood work more frequently. Wellness blood work screens for many medical conditions, including diabetes and kidney disease. In many cases, early diagnosis and management can improve quality of life and the long-term prognosis for pets with chronic illnesses.
When a pet presents with clinical signs indicating an illness, a CBC and chemistry profile is often performed very early during the diagnostic process. Even if results of this initial testing are all “normal,” this information can rule out a variety of medical conditions. If results of a CBC and chemistry profile are abnormal or inconclusive, Dr. Martin may recommend additional testing to get closer to a diagnosis.
A CBC and chemistry profile is also part of routine blood work that is performed before a pet undergoes general anesthesia for a surgical procedure. If test results are abnormal, Dr. Martin may recommend additional precautions to help ensure your pet’s safety during the procedure, may recommended that the procedure is postponed or choose an alternative treatment option.
Performing a CBC and chemistry panel poses minimal risk for your pet, and in many cases, the information Dr. Martin gains from this testing is invaluable.
Having a sick pet can be a scary thing. After all, they are part of the family. Southern Veterinary Hospital wants to ease some of your anxiety and get your pet on the road to wellness quickly. Call us today at (910) 642-3776 to learn more or to make an appointment for your pet.