Most of us have had blood drawn at some point in our lives- and many of our pets have had their blood drawn as well. When your pet comes to the clinic when he/she isn’t feeling well drawing blood for a complete blood count and chemistry panel can alert us to what may be going on. Aside from helping the veterinarian to diagnose illness when your pet is showing signs of not feeling well, blood work can play another role in the long-term health of your furry companion.
Routine blood work is recommended for any animal over the age of six years old, or animals who are on medications that have the potential to negatively impact the liver or kidneys (these medications include pain medication, medication for urinary incontinence, behavioral modification drugs, thyroid medications and more.) Routine blood work when your animal is apparently healthy and feeling well helps to establish a normal baseline for your pet. This is helpful to track slowly increasing values as well as identify abrupt changes from your pet’s normal state if they happen to fall ill. The longer your pet has been receiving routine blood work the easier it is to identify changes.
Routine blood work normally consists of a complete blood count, chemistry panel and thyroid panel. A complete blood count is helpful in identifying anemia, infections and certain cancers. A blood chemistry panel evaluates the function of the kidneys, liver, pancreas and more. Early identification of renal failure, liver disease, and diabetes is very important in the successful treatment and care of your animal. A thyroid panel allows us to evaluate the function of the thyroid which is routinely overactive in cats and can be underactive in dogs. By the time animals exhibit physical symptoms of disease many of them have been ill for quite some time- routine blood work allows for the earliest possible detection of these illnesses.
River Road Veterinary Clinic offers special discounts during “Senior month” for routine blood work on all geriatric animals. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding the benefits of blood work and its ability to diagnose disease in its earliest stages.