Canine & Feline Blood Testing at Little Critters Vet

Little Critters Veterinary Hospital

1525 N Gilbert Road Suite #C-101
Gilbert, AZ 85234


Understanding Blood Testing

canine & feline blood chemistry

Blood Testing: The Basics

Comprehensive Veterinary Diagnostic Tests: A Closer Look

When it comes to ensuring the health and well-being of your beloved pet, comprehensive diagnostic tests play a crucial role. These tests provide vital insights into various aspects of your pet's health, allowing veterinarians to make informed decisions regarding their care. Here's an in-depth exploration of some of the most common diagnostic tests and what they can reveal:

1. Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC):

The CBC is a fundamental test that assesses various components of your pet's blood. It provides valuable information about:

  • Red Blood Cells (RBCs): These cells transport oxygen to the organs. A reduced RBC count indicates anemia.

  • White Blood Cells (WBCs): Responsible for fighting infections. Elevated WBCs often signal an ongoing infection.

  • Platelets: Essential for blood clotting. Low platelet counts can lead to bleeding issues.

  • Blood Protein: Helps in evaluating dehydration (elevated or reduced levels).

  • Percentage of Red Blood Cells: This varies among breeds and can indicate factors like living at higher elevations or dehydration.

2. Blood Chemistry Panel:

The blood chemistry panel delves deeper into your pet's overall health by examining:

  • Organ Function: It provides insights into the status of organs like the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.

  • Blood Protein Levels: An important indicator of your pet's overall health.

  • Immunoglobulins: Essential components of the immune system.

  • Electrolytes: Maintaining the right balance is critical for various bodily functions.

3. Thyroid Level (T4):

This test helps evaluate the thyroid function in both cats and dogs. While hyperthyroidism (high thyroid levels) is more common in cats, dogs may experience hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels). Symptoms of hypothyroidism include dry skin, thin hair coat, lethargy, and weight gain. Treatment involves inexpensive and safe thyroid replacement medication.

4. Viral/Infectious Organism Testing:

These tests are convenient and provide rapid results by detecting color changes in response to applied blood or urine samples. Some common tests include:

  • 4DX Test (Dogs): Checks for Lyme disease, tick fever (Ehrlichiosis), anaplasma, and heartworms.

  • Heartworm Test (Dogs): Focuses solely on detecting heartworms.

  • Feline Combo Test (Cats): Covers FeLV, FIV, and now heartworms.

  • Parvo Test (Dogs): Specifically screens for parvovirus infections in dogs.

  • E.cuniculi (Encephalitozoon cuniculi) Testing in Rabbits: E.cuniculi is a microsporidian parasite that can affect rabbits. Testing is important to detect and manage this infection in rabbits, which can lead to neurological symptoms.

  • Electrophoresis (EPH) in Birds: Electrophoresis is a diagnostic technique used to separate proteins in the blood of birds. It provides valuable information about the types and quantities of proteins present, aiding in the diagnosis of various avian diseases.

It's important to note that diagnostic testing can vary based on factors like your pet's age, species, sex, and medical condition. Veterinary medicine has made significant advancements, allowing for state-of-the-art medical care. However, financial considerations can sometimes pose challenges, especially during emergencies. To alleviate this, pet health insurance is highly recommended. It not only offers assistance during emergencies but can also provide your pet with life-saving care.

In conclusion, while we can't cover all available diagnostic tests, the CBC/Chem and viral testing represent common and essential components of comprehensive pet healthcare. Investing in these tests helps ensure early detection of health issues, leading to better outcomes for your furry family member. Explore the links below to learn more about pet insurance options and consult your veterinarian for personalized guidance on diagnostic testing.

Note: Understanding your pet's unique needs and regular veterinary check-ups are essential for their health and longevity. For information on pet insurance plans, please explore the provided links below.