Wondering what we are looking for when we draw blood from your pet? Well, here are some of the most important values the doctor is checking in your pet’s bloodwork:
CBC – This provides information on the red and white blood cell counts, as well as platelet counts. A CBC helps us detect such issues as anemia, infection, or potential bleeding disorders.
Blood Chemistry – This checks various enzymes, liver and kidney values, and a blood glucose level. The following are a few of the most significant values in the blood chemistry:
Albumin (ALB) – A protein produced by the liver. Lowered levels may suggest chronic liver, kidney, or intestinal disease.
Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) – Elevated levels of this enzyme can coexist with liver disease or injury.
Alkaline Phosphatase (ALKP) – An enzyme found in liver and bone tissues. Liver disease, Cushing’s syndrome, or steroid therapy can be indicated from elevated levels.
Amylase (AMYL) – A pancreatic enzyme which aids in digestion. Higher levels may point to pancreatic disease.
Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) – Produced by the liver and excreted by the kidneys. If elevated, it can indicate kidney disease or dehydration. If low, it could suggest liver disease.
Calcium – Elevated levels can be associated with kidney or parathyroid diseases or even be a sign of certain types of tumors.
Cholesterol (CHOL) – High levels are seen in a number of disorders, including liver or kidney disease or hypothyroidism.
Creatinine (CREA) – A muscle metabolism by-product excreted by the kidneys. If these levels are high it could indicate kidney disease, dehydration, or urinary tract obstruction.
Blood Glucose (GLU) – Most often a sign of diabetes when high but could also just be stress.
Phosphorus (PHOS) – Could indicate kidney disease if elevated.
Total Bilirubin (TBIL) – These levels are useful in indicating liver disease and may even lend a hand in characterizing anemia. Bilirubin is a breakdown product of hemoglobin and is also a component of bile.
Total Protein (TP) – This can indicate an assortment of conditions, including dehydration or diseases of the kidney, liver, or intestine.
Urinalysis – Urine contains by-products from many organs filtered through the kidneys. Abnormal levels can indicate diabetes, urinary tract disease, kidney or liver disease.
Fecal Exam – Tests for intestinal parasites that can be transmissible to humans.
T4 – A thyroid profile that is very important since untreated thyroid disease can have a severe impact on your cat or dog’s health.