Annie here and I would like to have Dr. Marietti help teach us a little bit about blood screenings, and the benefit it has for your pet. I am six now so my mom did a wellness panel on me recently to make sure that everything on the inside looks good. Luckily, all of my bloodwork turned out within normal limits. This will give my doctors a base line if I ever get sick in the future or if anything changes in my future screenings. Early detection can be key to managing several illnesses or diseases.
Bloodwork is a valuable, basic evaluation tool that can be recommended for many different reasons. These reasons include but are not limited to; illness, drug monitoring panels, pre-surgical panels, or geriatric wellness. A complete blood count (CBC), blood chemical analysis, and/ or a thyroid level are just a few of the blood panels that may be recommended. A common reason for bloodwork is to detect subtle changes in your pet during the easily controllable stages, before your pet’s quality of life is affected. As your pet ages, their metabolism slows down and they are more prone to liver, heart, and kidney disorders, as well as cancer. Geriatric bloodwork is designed to allow your pet to age in grace and comfort. It is prompt recognition of illness and aggressive treatment that reduces the risk of serious consequences and increases life expectancy in most cases.
A complete blood count gives information on hydration status, anemia, infection, clotting ability and ability of the immune system to respond to illness. The following are evaluated in a complete blood count: white blood cell count (which includes granulocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes and eosinophils), red blood cell count (which includes hemoglobin, hematocrit), and platelets.
A blood chemistry checks the liver, kidneys, pancreas, and often electrolytes. The following may be evaluated in blood chemistries: alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, bilirubin, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, sodium, potassium, glucose, total protein, globulin, and albumin.
Prior to any procedures that require anesthesia, your doctor may recommend any of these blood screenings to decrease the likelihood that your pet is unable to process anesthesia.
We hope that you found this to be informative and can help you to make decisions regarding your pets health and well being.
Annie and Jaime Marietti, DVM