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Blood Analysis - A vital tool for screening out disease.

Even pets that appear happy and healthy can have hidden medical problems that might grow serious, even life-threatening if left undetected. Blood tests are essential for identifying diseases at the earliest most treatable stage possible. Pets can’t tell us when they’re ill - that’s where lab tests like blood analyses come in.

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Why Bloodwork is Important

Detection through blood tests helps prevent and treat potentially dangerous illnesses. Sick or senior pets often have more than one disease affecting them, complicating diagnosis and treatment. Blood tests can help pinpoint the problems. Some medications can harm pets with underlying problems like kidney or liver disease. Blood tests can ensure your pet is healthy enough to take the medication. Even in young and healthy pets, lab testing gives us a valuable baseline picture of what represents good health for your individual pet. A recommended part of your pet’s annual exam, blood tests can spot health trends sooner, before they become more serious.

Types of Bloodwork Analyses

Standard blood test panels for dogs and cats routinely check for many problems, commonly:

  • Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC) - provides important information about the types and number of blood cells in your pet’s blood. A low red blood cell count, for example, indicates anemia, while a high white blood cell count can indicate an infection, chronic inflammation, or other disease processes.

  • Blood Chemistry Profile - particularly important for evaluating organ function (e.g., liver, kidneys), electrolytes, blood sugar, screening for the presence of an endocrine disorder, etc. Any abnormalities will help us decide on further diagnostic tests or treatments.

  • Heartworm Test - can detect evidence of heartworm disease. For a more complete picture, we will often combine a blood panel with other tests, such as a urinalysis and fecal examination.

  • Feline Leukemia (FeLV)-Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) Test - This is a common test for kittens and cats, especially those coming from unknown origins. These viruses are interspecies contagious and life-threatening, so we recommend testing for these if you adopt, find or take in a new kitten or cat, or have a cat who spends any time outdoors.

  • Total Thyroid Level - We analyze bloodwork for hyperthyroidism, as well as the reverse condition, hypothyroidism, or a low thyroid function that can indicate disease in a cat’s body

  • Canine Pancreatic Lipase (cPL) - Tests for Pancreas-specific Lipase, which is the most reliable indicator of pancreatitis in canine patients.

In-House Laboratory Testing vs. Sending to an Outside Laboratory

Using our state-of-the-art testing in-house laboratory equipment by Abaxis, our veterinarians have the ability to perform many different blood analysis tests quickly and accurately. Many times we can have results within 15-20 minutes of pulling the blood which is especially useful for our very sick and emergency patient appointments.

Bloodwork we can run in-house:

  • CBC

  • Chemistry

  • Thyroid (T4) Level

  • Blood Clotting Disorders

  • Heartworm test (for dogs)

  • FeLV-FIV test

  • cPL Rapid Test

  • Phenobarbital levels

Sometimes, our veterinarians will choose to send your pet's blood to an outside laboratory testing facility like Antech Diagnostics.  Based on your pet’s needs, there are literally hundreds of test options we can have ordered for your pet. They pick up bloodwork twice daily from the hospital, ensuring you get your pet's results as quickly as possible. Results are typically back to us in 24 to 48 hours. Occasionally, we also will send blood out to UGA's Veterinary Laboratory or Texas A&M for specialized panels.

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In-House Rapid Tests

These convenient and fast tests give us the ability to make diagnoses at the clinic and during your pet's appointment. This gives our veterinarians the ability to formulate a treatment plan based on the test results. All that is required is 1-2 drops of blood and results are available within 10-15 minutes. 

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Here are the tests we currently have available:

  • cPL Rapid Test - The Canine Pancreatic Lipase (cPL) Rapid Test is a highly sensitive and specific semi-quantitative immunoassay for the detection of pancreas-specific lipase in canine serum or plasma.

  • FeLV/FIV Rapid Test - The FeLV/FIV Rapid Test is a highly sensitive and specific test for the qualitative detection of Feline Leukemia Virus antigen and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus antibodies in feline whole blood, serum, or plasma.

  • Heartworm Rapid Test - The Heartworm Rapid Test is a highly sensitive and specific test for the qualitative detection of Dirofilaria immitis antigen in canine and feline whole blood, serum, or plasma.

  • Canine Parvo Rapid Test - The Canine Parvovirus Rapid Test is a highly sensitive and specific test for the qualitative detection of Parvovirus antigens in canine feces.

  • Canine Giardia Rapid Test - The Canine Giardia Rapid Test is a highly sensitive and specific test for the qualitative detection of Giardia cyst antigens in canine feces

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Why does my young dog/cat need annual blood tests?

    • When basic lab testing is done as part of your pet’s annual exam, the results are recorded. We can then review your pet’s file at each subsequent exam and spot any abnormalities or trends sooner before serious diseases can develop.

  • My 8-year-old cat is perfectly healthy but her doctor suggested a group of blood tests as part of her annual examination. Why?

    • Older animals are more at risk for chronic conditions like kidney or liver disease and endocrine problems. Early on, there may not be any outward signs of trouble, so your pet may still seem quite normal. More frequent testing can help catch potential health problems in the early stages before they become more difficult to manage or even life-threatening.​​

  • What do my pet's bloodwork results mean?

    • Understanding Your Pet's Diagnostic Testing - This document summarizes what each of the results is measuring.​ Click one of the following file types to download and view.

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Understanding Your Pet's Diagnostics

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