Has your veterinarian told you that your pet needs a blood test? Often, blood tests are used to identify potential health risks or monitor the health of your pet. Because blood tests are not included in the cost of a regular appointment but require an additional fee, many owners don’t have the tests performed. It’s important to understand why blood tests are used, and why they’re important.
- Blood tests can be just a routine part of taking care of your pet’s health. Veterinarians use chemistry and hematology blood tests to get a complete picture of your pet’s health. Chemistry blood tests provide a detailed look at the functioning of your pet’s organs, while hematology tests give an in-depth look at blood cells. At the first visit, in particular, a veterinarian will often recommend a blood test, to serve as a baseline for future blood tests and determine if your pet needs any immunizations or boosters.
- Certain blood tests can identify disease. When your pet is showing symptoms of illness, like weight loss, lethargy, or unusual urinary habits, a blood test can help determine if there’s an underlying disease. Certain proteins, enzymes, and white blood cells can indicate an issue, and diseases like diabetes or kidney disease can be quickly identified through bloodwork.
- Blood tests before surgery can ensure the proper anesthesia is used. It’s important to use the correct dosage, and blood tests also tell veterinarians things like the condition of your pet’s organs and blood clotting ability. By looking at the bloodwork, your veterinarian will be able to prescribe necessary medication ahead of time to make sure that your pet’s surgery is a success.
- Parasites and infections can be found through the use of blood tests. Infections raise the white blood cell count, or in some cases lower it and that can help your veterinarian determine what’s wrong. Parasites, too, can be detected through bloodwork. In dogs, they’re used to look for heartworms, Lyme’s disease, canine distemper, and kennel cough. For cats, veterinarians use blood tests to check for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline leukemia (FeLV).
Blood tests are an important part of your pet’s overall medical care. For that reason, Dr. Reed recommends that dogs over six years of age have an annual blood test for the early detection of disease and illness. At Reed Animal Hospital, we treat your pets as if they were our own. Our goal is to help you and your pet enjoy a healthy, fulfilling life together, so our extraordinary team offers a wide range of services. We’ve got veterinarians, technicians, assistants, and receptionists, all prepared to help you and your pet, and we even offer referrals to specialty surgeons, many of whom will travel to our office to consult with your pet. For more information or to make an appointment, call us in Campbell at 408-369-1788, or in Saratoga at 408-647-2906, or contact us through our website.