Wellness Bloodwork for your Pets - by Lexy Marcellus, (RVT) Print
Written by Brian Adam   
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 23:08

Ever wonder what your veterinarian's chart full of letters & numbers means, after your Pet's had bloodwork?  Here's a comprehensive rundown for you:

A complete blood count (CBC) can be used to detect anemia, infection, inflammation, stress, leukemia, inability to fight off infection, hydration status and some blood clotting problems.  Microscopic examinations of the blood may also reveal the presence of abnormal cells, parasites, or even toxicities.

Red Blood cells (RBCs) are the most numerous and longest-living of the different types of blood cells; they typically make up almost half the blood’s volume. RBCs contain a special protein called hemoglobin (HGB) that binds oxygen as it travels through the rest of the body.

Reticulocytes: These are immature RBCs that increased during times of red cell production, such as blood loss, or immune-mediated anemia.  White Blood cells (WBCs) are primarily responsible for fighting infections. There are 5 different types and each perform specific functions.  Platelets play a critical role in preventing bleeding.

A Biochemistry Profile looks at the organs in the body.

Liver enzymes (Albumin, ALT, Alk. Phos, AST, Bilirubin, Bile acids, GGT and Cholesterol) These tests indicate how well the liver is working , and provide information about liver damage, inflammation, dehydration, abnormalities from long-term medications or bile blockage

Kidney enzymes (Urea/BUN, Creatinine, Phosphorus, and Potassium) Kidney disease causes urea and creatinine levels to rise, often with changes in phosphorus and potassium. Changes can indicate early renal disease, renal failure, infection, stones, cancer or abnormalities resulting from long-term medications. Kidney testing is frequently combined with a urinalysis, as urine plays a big part in how well the kidneys are functioning.

Pancreas enzymes (Amylase, Lipase, Glucose, and TLI) Diabetes mellitus, inflammation of the pancreas, and pancreatic failure are serious diseases; fortunately they can all be detected with simple blood tests.

Muscle and Bone enzymes (AST, CPK, Calcium, and Phosphorus) Increased levels of AST and CPK can signal muscle injury or inflammation. Calcium and phosphorus are indicators of bone health and abnormal levels suggest the presence of disease.

Electrolytes (Na, K, Cl, tCo2, Anion gap) Are all critical to body function & must be maintained in very narrow limits.  Dehydration is a common cause of electrolyte imbalance, despite how effective the body is at regulating levels.  Further testing may be involved if any abnormalities are found. Your veterinary team can always answer any further questions.

Testing your pets’ blood on a regular basis (every 2 years for healthy adults, every year for seniors) is recommended to keep all animal members of your family healthy. heart Lexy

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 January 2013 23:34