Unfortunately pets can’t tell us where it hurts and sometimes a healthy appearing pet may be masking symptoms of a disease or ailment. Your veterinarian may recommend diagnostic testing to identify a problem and to begin treatment as early as possible. These tests are especially helpful when symptoms are unspecific or hard to define.
If your pet is going to be anesthetized, we strongly recommend pre-anesthetic blood work. The anesthesia we use is very safe, but, if your pet is not in optimum health there maybe a greater risk of complications. We can minimize these risks by checking their liver and kidney values before hand. If levels are not within the normal ranges we can adjust anesthetic procedures to help ensure your pet’s well-being.
Before starting certain treatments, or with young pets, we may recommend a blood panel be done for a baseline level. This way we can monitor for any changes in the future.
We recommend some or all of the following tests to determine your pet’s health. Although performing these tests cannot guarantee that complications won’t arise, they can reduce the risk to your pet and help to alleviate some of your concerns.
Albumin: A protein which is produced in the liver. Reduced levels of this protein can mean a chronic liver or kidney disease, intestinal disease or intestinal parasite infection
Alanine Aminotranferase: An enzyme that becomes elevated with liver disease or injury.
Alkaline Phosphatase: An enzyme produced by the cells lining the gall bladder and its associated ducts. Elevated levels can indicate liver disease or Cushing’s syndrome.
Amylase: An enzyme produced by the pancreas. The pancreas secretes amylase to aid in digestion. Elevated blood levels can indicate pancreatic and/or kidney disease.
• Blood Urea Nitrogen: BUN is produced by the liver and excreted by the kidneys. Abnormal levels can indicate dehydration, and liver and kidney abnormalities.
Calcium: Increased levels can be seen with diseases of the parathyroid gland and kidneys or as an indicator of certain types of tumors.
sCholesterol: Elevated levels of cholesterol are seen in a variety of disorders including genetic disease, liver and kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism.
Creatinine: Creatinine is a by-product of muscle metabolism and excreted by the kidneys. Elevated levels can indicate kidney disease or urinary tract obstruction.
Blood Glucose: High levels can indicate diabetes. Low levels can indicate liver disease, infection, or certain tumors.
Phosphorus: elevated phosphorus can be an indicator of kidney disease.
Total Bilirubin: Bilirubin is a breakdown product of hemoglobin and is a component of bile. Bilirubin is secreted by the liver into the intestinal tract. Blood Bilirubin levels are useful in diagnosing anemia and problems of the bile ducts.
Total Protein: The level of total protein can detect a variety of conditions including dehydration and diseases of the liver, kidney or gastrointestinal tract.
Sodium, Potassium, Chloride: The balance of these electrolytes is vital to your pet’s health. Abnormal levels can be life threatening. Electrolyte tests are important in evaluating vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and cardiac symptoms.
Hematocrit: Provides information on the amount of red blood cells present in the blood. A low hematocrit indicates anemia.
Complete Blood Count: A more complete panel of tests. A CBC provides detailed information on Red Blood Cells, white blood counts (WBC) and platelets. The total WBC and differential (individual cell counts) can indicate infection, leukemia, stress, inflammation, or an inability to fight infection. Low platelets can indicate a bleeding problem. We might advise surgery be delayed if anemia, infection or an especially low platelet count is present because these conditions could cause serious surgical complications.
Thyroid test: This is a measurement of the level of thyroid hormone circulating in the blood and is helpful in identifying thyroid disease. Thyroid disease occurs in both dogs and cats and can have serious impact on health if left untreated.
Urinalysis: The urine contains by-products from many organs such as the kidneys, liver and pancreas. Abnormal levels of these by-products can indicate disease including diabetes, liver and kidney disease.