All of our pets’ vampires impressions in yesterday’s article got us thinking about the very important topic of blood. Most people associate bloodwork with injury, illness, or emergencies; however, routine bloodwork can help your veterinarian get the most complete picture of your pet’s health. Here are just a few of the benefits of having routine bloodwork done at least once a year.
- Allows for the evaluation of red blood cells, while blood cells, and platelets. Red blood cells carry oxygen through the body while white blood cells fight off infections. Platelets allow clotting to occur-meaning that if your dog or cat gets a little scratch, it will form a clot, scab over and heal. Issues with red blood cells can cause damage to other internal organs, while abnormal white blood cell data could be signs of infection or even cancer. A platelet disorder could cause your pet to struggle to heal wounds or bleed excessively if injured.
- Bloodwork also can identify problems with the kidneys, liver, and the pancreas. The kidneys and liver serve as our “detox organs” while our pancreas hems with digestive enzymes as well as hormones. Catching any abnormalities with these organs can lead to early treatment and extend your pet’s life.
- Thyroid conditions and diabetes can be detected earlier with routine bloodwork. These diseases are common in our senior pets and can lead to death if left untreated. Getting them under control with medications as early as possible is the best way to give your pet a happier, longer life.
- Urinalysis (the examination of a urine sample) and heartworm tests are often included with routine bloodwork. A urinealysis can be used to determine if there is an infection in the urinary tract as well as problems with the liver, kidneys, or bladder. Heartworm disease is often times fatal and very expensive to treat. While heartworm prevention products like Interceptor, Revolution, and Trifexis are key to ensuring your pet’s safety, routine heartworm tests are also encouraged so that if an heartworm infection does occur, it can be treated ASAP.
- Bloodwork can establish a baseline for your pet. Each individual pet is different. What may be “low” for one pet may be perfectly normal for another. Starting routine bloodwork early in life (before your pet develops medical issues) provides a great, individualized baseline for comparison and can allow for an easier diagnosis from your veterinarian. It can also be used to track your pet’s health over time.
- Routine bloodwork can also be used to analyze a new medication your pet is on. Some medications require regular blood tests to make sure they are doing their job (such as thyroid and diabetes medications), others are necessary to make sure that a medication being used to treat one condition isn’t causing damage elsewhere in the body (like prolonged use of steroids).
Though your veterinarian will be sure to call you and let you know how your pet’s blood tests came out, you can always ask for additional details.
Has your pet ever had wellness bloodwork done? Let us know in the comm