Basic blood screening for your pet includes a complete blood count (CBC) and serum chemistries (also called chemistry screen).
This test provides information on clotting ability; hydration status; immune system function; and the
presence of infection, inflammation, and anemia.
Red Blood Cell (RBC) Parameters:
Values such as RBC, HCT, and HGB can help determine the hydration status of your pet. Additionally, the
presence of anemia and other blood disorders can be identified.
- RBC (red blood cell count): measures the number of red blood cells in the blood sample.
- HGB(hemoglobin): hemoglobins are the oxygen-carrying pigments of the red blood cells.
- HCT (hematocrit): measures the percentage of red blood cells in a blood sample.
White Blood Cell (WBC) Parameters:
This portion of the CBC is done to identify exactly what types of and how many white blood cells are present in
your pet’s blood. Indications of infection, inflammation, cancer, parasitic infection, and allergies can be
identified from this information.
- WBC (white blood cell count): measures the number of white blood cells in the blood sample. White blood cells are vital to immune system function. Increases and decreases indicate certain diseases or infections.
- Polys (neutrophils): These are inflammatory cells associated with infectious and noninfectious disease processes.
- Lymph (lymphocytes): These are immune cells that are highly responsive to stress and can be increased in chronic infections
- Monos (monocytes): These are inflammatory cells associated with the repair of damaged tissues.
- Eos (eosinophils): another specific type of white blood cell that indicates allergic or parasitic conditions.
- Baso (basophils): These are inflammatory cells associated with parasitic disease, hypersensitivity, and allergy.
Platelets are cell fragments that form blood clots. Decreases are seen with decreased bone production (e.g.
bone marrow disease), increased use of them in the body (e.g. inflammation or recent blood loss), and
destruction of them in the blood (e.g. infectious or autoimmune disease). Increases are associated with
These tests evaluate organ function (eg. kidney, liver, pancreas), electrolyte status and hormone levels. In addition to providing important information on the overall health of a pet, these tests are an important aid in diagnosing and determining treatment for pets with toxin exposure, pets with non-specific symptoms, (such as vomiting and lethargy), pets receiving long term medications and for evaluationg the health of a pet prior to surgery or dental cleaning under anesthesia.
- GLU (glucose): Also known as blood sugar, elevated levels of it may indicate diabetes mellitus or high levels of stress.
- BUN (blood urea nitrogen): This is a good indicator of kidney function. Azotemia (increased BUN) can be caused by disease of the kidney, liver, or heart or urethral obstruction, shock, or dehydration.
- Creatinine: Another kidney value that helps distinguish between kidney and non-kidney causes of an elevated BUN.
- Sodium: An electrolyte that is lost with vomiting, diarrhea, kidney disease, and Addison’s disease.
- Potassium: An important electrolyte that can be decreased with vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive urination. Increased levels may indicate kidney failure, Addison’s disease, dehydration, and urethral obstruction. High levels can lead to cardiac arrest. In cats, decreases of this value are commonly seen in cats with kidney and thyroid disease.
- Chloride: An electrolyte that is commonly lost with vomiting or Addison’s disease. Elevations of this can indicate dehydration.
- Carbon Dioxide: Carbon dioxide acts as a buffer system to help maintain the acid-base balance of the blood. Abnormalities can be caused by respiratory disease, kidney disease, severe vomiting and diarrhea, and severe infections.
- Calcium: Changes of the amount of calcium in the blood can indicate the presence of tumors, hyperparathyroidism, and kidney disease.
- Phosphorus: Elevations of phosphorus are associated with kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and bleeding disorders.
- Total Protein: This value indicates hydration status and provides information about the liver, kidneys, infection, and diseases.
- Albumin: This is a serum protein that helps evaluate hydration, hemorrhage, and intestinal, liver, and kidney diseases.
- Globulin: Globulins are blood proteins that are often increased in certain disease states including chronic inflammation.
- Bilirubin, total: Increased levels of bilirubin may indicate liver or hemolytic disease. This test can help identify bile duct problems and certain types of anemia.
- ALP (Alkaline phosphatase): Elevations of this liver value may indicate liver damage, intestinal disease, Cushing’s disease, and active bone growth in younger animals.
- GGT (gamma glutamyl transferase): Abnormalities of this enzyme indicates liver disease or an excess of corticosteroids.
- ALT (alanine aminotransferase): This liver value is a sensitive indicator of active liver damage but does not specify the cause.
- AST (aspartate aminotransferase): Increases of this value can indicate damage to the liver, heart, or skeletal muscles.
- CK (creatine kinase): Increases are associated with muscle damage.Cholesterol: This value is used to supplement the diagnosis of hypothyroidism, liver disease, Cushing’s disease, and diabetes mellitus.
- Amylase: Elevations of this value may indicate pancreatitis or kidney disease.
- Lipase: This enzyme may indicate the presence of pancreatitis.
- T4 – RIA (thyroxine): Total thyroxine values indicate hormone balance or imbalance. Decreased levels indicate hypothyroidism (more common in dogs), and increased levels indicate hyperthyroidism (more common in cats)