Wellness tests are blood tests performed to ensure the health of your pet. These blood tests allow us to anticipate any problems before your pet becomes clinically sick, in an attempt to modify the disease process and improve your pet’s quality of life.
Pets are great at hiding disease, and often by the time they look sick- it is more difficult to help them. The most important aspect of blood work is to monitor changes over time, to ensure that our treatment and management decisions are effective.
Your pet’s wellness profile will include a combination of different tests. The profile chosen for your pet is based on your pet’s age, health and breed.
Profiles may include:
Complete blood count
Thyroid Function Test
Blood Parasite Screen (dogs)
Feline Viral Tests (cats)
Complete Blood Count (CBC):
A CBC examines the red and white blood cells. It can indicate how well the body’s immune defense system is working and if inflammation is present. A CBC can also aid in the diagnosis of diseases such as, anemia, clotting problems, immune mediated diseases or certain types of cancers. A CBC will look at several parameters in the blood including:
Packed Cell Volume (PCV)/Hematocrit:
· measures the percentage of red blood cells to detect anemia and dehydration
· determines the oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells
White Blood Cells (WBC)
· measure the body’s immune cells. Increases or decreases indicate certain diseases, infections or inflammation
· specific types of WBC that can indicate inflammation or infection when values are elevated. Low number may indicate an immune suppressed animal.
· specific type of WBC that may indicate allergic or parasitic conditions
· measures cells that form blood clots. Low values may indicate a clotting disorder.
What is a Biochemistry Profile?
These tests measure certain chemical levels in the blood. The chemicals are typically enzymes produced by different organs and therefore help indicate organ health. Increases or decreases in these levels may indicate disease.
Includes: AST, ALT, Alk Phos, Bilirubin, Cholesterol, Proteins, Bile Acids
· decreased liver function, inflammation, tissue damage, and bile blockage can all be detected.
Includes: BUN, Creatinine, Phosphorous, Potassium, Albumin
· Increases in BUN and Creatinine may indicate kidney disease. Kidney function tests are even more helpful when combined with a urinalysis
Includes: Amylase, Lipase, Glucose
· Abnormal pancreatic function can be detected; including pancreatitis, diabetes mellitus, and pancreatic insufficiency.
Muscle & Bone Chemistries
Includes: AST, CPK, Calcium, Phosphorus
· AST & CPK are frequently elevated when there is inflammation, trauma, or damage to skeletal muscle.
· Calcium & Phosphorous levels are indicators of bone health
Includes: Calcium, Potassium, Sodium, and Chloride
· these elements form the “electrical” system of the body and help cells communicate with each other
· electrolytes are needed for muscle contraction including the heart and nerve impulses.
Thyroid Function Tests
· provide information on how the thyroid gland is working
· too little thyroid hormone is common in dogs, which leads to sluggishness and weight gain”
· too much thyroid hormone is common in older cats & causes hyperactivity & weight loss”
· low thyroid levels can affect any breed of dog, however certain breeds are at an increased risk.
List of breeds in decreasing order of relative risk for thyroid disease.
|Chinese Shar Pei||Chow Chow|
|Great Dane||Irish Wolfhound|
|Doberman Pinscher||Brittany Spaniel|
|Miniature Schnauzer||Airedale Terrier|
|Cocker Spaniel||Irish Setter|
|Shetland Sheepdog||English Sheepdog|
|Pomeranian||German Shorthaired Pointers|
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) & Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
FIV and FeLV are major causes of illness and death in cats. Even healthy cats may harbour infection and spread it to others. Only a small blood sample is needed to test for both viruses. Your cat should be tested: 1) if your cat is ill, 2) newly adopted, 3) has been exposed to an infected cat, 4) is an outdoor cat, or 5) before receiving a FeLV vaccine.
FIV: Usually spread by cat bites (fighting). Cats often do not show signs of illness when young. Symptoms include gum infections, frequent illnesses, inability to fight infections, immune suppression, and organ failure.
FeLV: Usually spread through catfights, but also through sharing food/water bowls, cats grooming each other, and kittens born to infected mothers. FeLV can cause leukemia (cancer of white blood cells), anemia, and immune suppression leading to susceptibility to other diseases.
Blood Parasite Screen
Ticks and mosquitoes, could they be secretly infecting your dog? Your dog can become infected wit heartworm by a simple mosquito bite, or become infected with ehrlichiosis, Lyme or anaplasmosis if bitten by an infected tick. That’s why it is important to screen your dog annually for a blood parasite infection.
Learn if your dog is being exposed to these diseases and if a preventative strategy is needed.
If your dog is infected, the earlier we test, the earlier we can take action to avoid chronic disease state.