Diagnostics Part 1: Blood Work

Posted by Michelle for PetTest, AAHA Certified Diabetes Educator on 12th Mar 2024

Diagnostics Part 1: Blood Work

Diagnostics Part 1: Blood Work

Looking at our pets’ diagnostic results can be confusing. What do they represent and what could these results mean?

I never really looked at diagnostic results until Lucy was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis and diabetes mellitus. After diagnosis she went to the vet’s every six months for senior wellness panels (also called senior panels) and thankfully our vet was very patient with me, always answering all my questions.

Over the years I have learned a bit more about diagnostic results. I can read and understand them at a basic level. We are often asked in our Facebook group what specifics mean in blood panels so the next couple blogs I am going to go over diagnostics from blood panels to urinalysis to advanced panels.

Today I am going to start with the basics of blood work; the complete blood count (CBC), chemistry (hematology) and the functions.

Complete blood count (CBC) is routine run blood work that provides information about the cell types in blood. Blood consists of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Complete blood count (CBC) can indicate health issues or diseases.

The following is a Complete blood count (CBC) chart along with reference ranges obtained from IDEXX for dogs and cats. This is printable for reference and a link will be provided below to print this blog.

CBC for Diagnostics Part 1 Blog mtm Canada

Chemistry profile is a panel of tests that provide information about the tissues of the body and organs. Gastrointestinal illness/disease, kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, and other illnesses/diseases can be diagnosed with chemistry profiles. Any abnormal results can be further evaluated with more extensive diagnostics: x-rays, ultrasound, and add-on chemistry panels.

The following is a chemistry profile chart including reference ranges obtained from IDEXX for dogs and cats.

Chemistry for Diagnostics Part 1 blog mtm Canada

There are common blood panels that are run which include:

Jr. wellness – for dogs and cats that are under six years old and include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Chemistry profile
  • Urinalysis
  • Feline leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) test for cats that go outside.
  • Heartworm testing

Wellness (also called senior panel) – for dogs and cats over seven years old include:

  • Complete blood count
  • Chemistry profile
  • Thyroid testing
  • Urinalysis
  • Blood pressure testing for cats.
  • Feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) test for cats that go outside.
  • Heartworm testing

Pre-op testing includes:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Blood coagulation test
  • Possible chemistry profile

There is more to go over which includes urinalysis and add-on chemistry panels like thyroid testing, Cushing’s tests and pancreatitis testing. I will go over all of this in the next couple of weeks. Next week we will go over urinalysis tests…so stay tuned for the second part of diagnostics!

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please start a conversation below.

For a printable version of this blog click here.

Until next week stay comfy, don’t stress and you got this!

Michelle Miller-Matlock

AAHA Certified Diabetes Educator

Founder/Administrator of DDO: Diabetic Dog Owners University

Administrator of Diabetic Dog Owners on Facebook

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