What are the Benefits of Pet Blood Testing?
Blood testing is something that we as humans are quite used to. However, there are times when our precious pet may require a blood test too. There are various reasons why your vet may recommend that your furry, scaled or feathered friend has her blood checked, but it is not suggested without good reason. There are some distinct benefits to blood tests for pet that we will look at in more detail.
What is involved in pet blood testing?
Your vet will draw blood from your pet in the same way that you would have a blood test, and the samples will be used to undertake two different types of screening.
Complete blood count
A complete blood count (CBC) is used to see how many red and white cells are present in your pet’s blood, as well as the number of platelets it contains. This test is important because the results can indicate several health problems including anemia (too few red blood cells), infection (too many white blood cells) and how well your pet’s blood will clot if she suffers an injury. This test is essential for pets that have symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, pale gums or loss of appetite.
Blood chemistry panel
This screening test looks at the various chemicals present within your pet’s blood to ascertain if her major organs are functioning as they should. Some of the things that a blood chemistry panel can detect include metabolic diseases, liver function, kidney function, protein and glucose levels. If your pet is older, she may also have her thyroid checked.
Why is pet blood testing so important?
Pet blood testing has two key roles, one as a diagnostic tool and the other as a way of preventing illness.
One of the most challenging aspects of pet care is knowing when your pet is unwell. Animals have a natural instinct to try and hide any sign of weakness, and this includes any underlying illness. As a result, they will try and avoid showing any symptoms for as long as possible. In many instances, owners do not discover that their pet is unwell until the illness that is bothering them has had a significant effect. However, you may be able to tell that something is just ‘off’ about your pet, and if you visit your vet they may recommend a blood test as a diagnostic tool. Early detection of diseases and infections is essential if they are to be treated promptly, and this significantly improves the likely outcome of your pet’s condition. By identifying problems early, you can also prevent your pet from going through unnecessary pain and suffering.
Nevertheless, blood testing isn’t something that is only beneficial when you already suspect your pet is unwell. It is also a very useful part of any animal’s preventative care. This is because, even if your pet isn’t sick, the results of her tests can be tracked each time. Doing so enables your veterinarian to identify if there are any patterns developing in the results that could suggest that an illness or health problem is developing. At this stage, it could be possible that something can be done to prevent disease or disorder from occurring.
How often should I have my pet’s blood tested?
In most instances, vets recommend that all pets have yearly bloodwork. However, if your furbaby is already suffering from a medical condition, then she may require monitoring more closely and as such, blood panels may be recommended more frequently. It is important that you take the advice of your veterinarian and adhere to the timeline recommended to you.
If you would like more information about blood testing for pets, please contact our friendly and professional veterinary care team who will be delighted to offer their knowledge and experience.