BLOOD analysis is an excellent tool available to veterinarians. A complete blood profile provides vital information concerning your pet’s organs. Even in the absence of symptoms, some pets may be experiencing changes in their body’s function that are not yet severe enough to present observable symptoms. Blood analysis allows vets to access such things as your pet’s liver and kidney function, pancreas, intestinal tract, thyroid, and parathyroid. Additionally it allows vets to evaluate the different types of blood cells, which are essential to the health of your pet.
What do the different tests tell us? Complete blood count
This test lets us assess the white blood cells (important in immunity, infections etc), red blood cells (oxygen carrying capacity) and platelets (blood clotting cells) and can be important in identifying bone marrow disease.
The liver enzymes ALT and ALP as well as the total bilirubin level in the blood can be important indicators of liver disease, gall bladder disease as well as adrenal disease and even red blood cell problems.
Here we look at the levels of Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine, both of which are normal by-products of metabolism that are cleared by the kidneys. Elevations in these indicate compromised kidney filtration, which can have several causes.
The values of the main blood protein, albumin as well as the total protein levels in the blood are useful in indicating dehydration, blood loss, liver disease and kidney disease as well as other conditions.
Blood sugar levels are key in diagnosing diabetes, as well as assessing energy levels in debilitated or sick animals. Both increases and decreases in blood sugar can be very dangerous to animals.
The electrolytes sodium, potassium and chloride are essential in maintaining proper fluid balance. They are especially useful in investigating patients with heart disease, diarrhea, vomiting and metabolic diseases and can have important implications on treatment options.