Labwork can provide helpful information about pets of all ages.
What information can be gained from labwork?
Laboratory testing is a minimally invasive tool that can give us a better understanding about an animal’s internal metabolic status. We often start with the following tests:
- Chemistry panel: Provides information about the kidneys, liver, pancreas, protein levels, blood glucose, electrolytes, and lipids.
- Complete Blood Count (CBC): Provides information about red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets; looks for evidence of infection, inflammation, blood parasites, or cancer.
- Urinalysis: Provides information about kidney function; looks for evidence of infection, crystals, or other abnormal urine components.
- Thyroid function: As pets age, alterations in thyroid function become more common. Dogs can develop hypothyroidism, and cats can develop hyperthyroidism.
When should labwork be considered?
We can perform labwork on animals of all ages, and you can request labwork on your pet at any time. Our team will also recommend labwork in the following instances:
- Sick pets: Laboratory testing can lead to a more rapid diagnosis and the ability to treat problems early (when outcomes can be more successful).
- Prior to anesthesia: Laboratory testing allows for a more thorough assessment of anesthetic risk. Anesthetic protocols can then be altered accordingly.
- Routine wellness monitoring: Laboratory screening for healthy pets will provide valuable baseline information, regardless of age. As pets get older, we strongly recommend wellness labwork so that problems can be identified early.
- Medication monitoring: Pets on long-term medications should have labwork monitored on a regular basis. Our doctors can guide you on the frequency of monitoring; often we recommend every 6-12 months depending on the situation.
~Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS