Pet blood work is an important part of good veterinary care.A blood draw many not be on the top of your pet’s favorite to-do list, but checking labs on our veterinary patients is an extremely important part of checkups at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates. Pet blood work can contain valuable information and clues about your pet’s overall health. Don’t be tempted to skip it! Let’s take a closer look.

What Wellness Blood Work Is All About

Many times, pet blood work is ordered when an animal is apparently just fine. This wellness blood work is not to be overlooked, however.

Blood work allows us to screen for and diagnose problems early, often before they are symptomatic. This leads to more successful treatment and management. Wellness blood work also provides us with a better understanding of what is normal for your individual pet, helping to to build a baseline database for a single patient.

Pet blood work can evaluate many things. Some of the more commonly evaluated items include:

  • Red blood cell count
  • White blood cell count
  • Clotting indicators
  • Kidney function
  • Liver values
  • Thyroid values
  • Electrolyte balance
  • Blood sugar (glucose)
  • Heartworm infection status

Of course, other further specialized tests are available to screen for and evaluate specific diseases and functions that may be of interest in a certain patient.  

Wellness blood work often will be performed as part of a pet’s routine wellness program, but it is recommended prior to an anesthetic procedure. Preoperative blood work helps us to be sure that your pet is in good shape for anesthesia, and that no specific precautions need to be taken.

Pet Blood Work: When Something’s Not Right

Blood work is obviously important when your pet is ill. Despite our best efforts, we often cannot adequately diagnose a pet by physical examination alone. By obtaining a diagnosis through diagnostic testing, including blood work, we can more effectively treat a sick pet.

At times, pet blood work for a sick patient may not provide an exact diagnosis. All benefit is certainly not lost, however. Even normal blood tests help to tell us what is working and can rule out certain possibilities, narrowing the list of possible diagnoses down.

Once we have arrived at a diagnosis and begin treating a pet, blood work often plays a role in monitoring response to treatment. Medication levels or organ values may need to be evaluated to be sure that we are helping your pet in the best way possible. For pets who are taking medications, we can ensure that their organs are tolerating the medications without complication.

Pet blood work is a valuable and accessible part of understanding your pet’s health. Without it we would be unable to efficiently screen, diagnose, and treat our veterinary patients as well as we do now. Please let us know if you have questions about blood work that has been recommended for your pet. Our recommendations come with our patient’s best interest at heart, and we are happy to help you better understand them.