The importance of "BLOOD WORK" - by Lexy Marcellus, (RVT) Print
Written by Brian Adam   
Sunday, 04 November 2012 09:55

Yearly vet visits are an excellent way to monitor your pet’s health.  You may be asked if you would like bloodwork done, for many different reasons. 

When is blood work necessary?  When your pet is sick or during emergency situations, it provides you with an invaluable picture of their health and is often the first step towards treating it. It also helps the veterinary team make immediate decisions. 

Pre-anesthetic blood work is recommended for animals of any age, that are about to undergo general anesthesia. It allows them to know if anesthesia is safe for your pet and helps them make adjustments to their protocols, should they notice anything abnormal. It's often performed the same day (or day before) any surgery, making it easier for your pet, as it reduces the need for them to fast more than once, and reduces the number of trips to the hospital.

Wellness screening blood work is recommended as part of their annual exam. Signs your pet is sick, are not always obvious upon a physical examination; blood work allows the team to see how the organs are functioning - and often times, wellness screening not only uncovers disease before it's too late - but can also help avoid significant medical expenses and risks to your pet's health.

Similar to humans, some medications have side-effects on the body; so it’s always a good idea to monitor their level of medication as well as the body’s organs. Periodic blood work while your pet is being treated can find these problems early, and allow your vet to make necessary changes.

What tests might my veterinary run?  A complete blood count (CBC) can show signs of infection, inflammation, or if your pet’s anemic.  A biochemistry panel - gives you information on kidney and liver function, signs of diabetes, and an overall look of how the body’s organs are functioning.  An electrolyte panel - Assesses hydration in your pet.  If abnormalities are detected, they may recommend further testing to treat your pet properly.

How soon can I get my results?  Many routine tests can be performed in-clinic - providing results quickly and allowing for immediate treatment. In-clinic blood testing also lets you be more involved in petcare - since you can discuss test results, while you are still at the clinic.  Normal results can rule out certain diseases immediately, lessening your worry.  If results are abnormal, your vet can make fast decisions about which next steps to take.

Unfortunately, pets can’t say how they're feeling, so it’s usually how they ACT or LOOK that tells you something's wrong. You play an important role in their lives - that's what helps keep them happy and healthy. Awareness of the warning signs and regular preventative health screens, including a physical exam and blood work, are the best ways to ensure they live a long, healthy, and happy life. heartLexy

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 November 2012 10:12