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Elaine's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: 2 moggies
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Posts: 15,251
09-01-2011, 10:04 PM   #1

Understanding your pet's Blood work


Understanding your pet’s blood work
CBC or Complete Blood Count is the most common test performed on pets and people. It gives information on hydration status, anaemia, infection, the bloods clotting ability and the ability of the immune system to respond. This test is normally run on pets which have fevers, are vomiting, have diarrhoea, weakness, pale gums or loss of appetite.
HCT or Hematocrit measures the percentage of red blood cells to detect anaemia and dehydration.
HGB and MCHC, Haemoglobin and Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration is oxygen carrying pigments of red blood cells.
WBC or White Blood Cell Count measures the cells that fight off infection. Increases or decreases can indicate certain infections or disease processes.
Grans and L/M, Granulocytes and Lymphocytes/Monocytes are specific types of white blood cells.
EOS or Eosinophils are a specific type of white blood cell that may indicate allergic or parasitic conditions.
PLT or Platelets measure cells which form blood clots.
Blood Chemistry
These tests evaluate organ function, electrolyte status, hormone levels and more.
These are useful for evaluating your pets for a variety of conditions as well as verifying health before any anaesthetic procedures.

ALB or Albumin is a serum protein which helps evaluate hydration, haemorrhage, intestinal, liver and kidney disease.
ALKP or Alkaline Phosphates, elevations may indicate liver damage, Cushing’s disease and active bone growth in young pets. This test is especially significant for cats.
ALT or Alanine Aminothansferase is a sensitive indicator of active liver damage but does not indicate a cause.
AMYL or Amylase, elevations can indicate Pancreatitis or Kidney disease.
Urea (BUN as it’s known in the USA) or Blood Urea Nitrogen, indicates kidney function. An increased blood level is called Azotemia and can be cause by kidney, liver and heart disease, urethral obstruction, shock and dehydration.
Ca or Calcium, deviations can indicate a variety of diseases, tumours, hyperparathyroidism, kidney disease and low Albumin are just a few of the conditions that can alter the serum calcium.
CHOL or Cholesterol is used to supplement the diagnosis or hypothyroidism, liver disease, Cushing’s disease and diabetes mellitus.
Crea or Creatinine reveals kidney function. This test helps distinguish b between kidney and non-kidney causes of elevated Urea.
GLU or Glucose is blood sugar. Elevated levels can be caused by stress or diabetes mellitus. Low levels can cause collapse, seizures and coma.
PHOS or Phosphorous, elevations are often associated with kidney disease, hyperthyroidism and bleeding disorders.
TBIL or Total Biliruben, elevations may indicate liver disease or anaemia.
TP or Total Protein indicates hydration status and provides additional information about the liver, kidneys and infectious diseases.
GLOB or Globulin is a blood protein that often increases with chronic inflammation and infectious diseases.
Na or Sodium is an electrolyte lost with vomiting, diarrhoea, kidney and Addison’s disease. It also helps indicate hydration status.
K or Potassium is an electrolyte lost with vomiting, diarrhoea or excessive urination. Increased levels may indicate kidney disease, Addison’s disease, dehydration and urethral obstruction. High levels can lead to cardiac arrest. Low levels can lead to excessive lethargy and lack of muscle control.
Cl or Chloride is an electrolyte often lost with vomiting and Addison’s disease. Elevations often indicate dehydration.
T4 or Thyroxin is a thyroid hormone. Decreased levels often indicate hypothyroidism in dogs while high levels indicate hyperthyroidism in cats.
Cortisol is a hormone that is measured when testing for certain disease conditions.




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Velvet's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: 5 DSH. 2 DLH
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Nth Ireland - UK
Posts: 3,604
09-01-2011, 10:53 PM   #2

Re: Understanding your pet's Blood work


Maybe we could have this very informative thread as a sticky for folk to refer back to?



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Squirrel's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: British Short Hair
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Fife, UK
Posts: 1,944
09-01-2011, 11:00 PM   #3

Re: Understanding your pet's Blood work


Good thinking Velvet. I know I will never remember what each thing means, but I think I would likely remember that there is a sticky with such info on it, were I to be in need of it...



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calismum's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: Two Tabby Girls
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Scotland, UK
Posts: 5,052
09-01-2011, 11:57 PM   #4

Re: Understanding your pet's Blood work


Another good informative bit of writing - Thank you.



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dandysmom's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: Leia: blue torbie
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Posts: 31,378
10-01-2011, 12:00 AM   #5

Re: Understanding your pet's Blood work


Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrel
Good thinking Velvet. I know I will never remember what each thing means, but I think I would likely remember that there is a sticky with such info on it, were I to be in need of it...
I second that ........



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Catsey Junior
 
Cats owned: 2 Moggies
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Sussex UK
Posts: 110
10-01-2011, 10:22 AM   #6

Re: Understanding your pet's Blood work


Thanks for that Elaine ~ very informative, especially for owners that get too stressed/worried at the vets & forget to ask these questions.

When I read it, it sounded like a script from "Casualty" where the doctors reel off all the initials of the tests they want done



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yola's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: 1 Persian and one b/w moo-cat mog
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Reading, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 12,633
10-01-2011, 11:06 AM   #7

Re: Understanding your pet's Blood work


Elaine - this is an EXTREMELY worthwile article, many thanks for this. And yes I think there should be a 'resource' section full of stickies which will enable people to quickly find important information on health, behaviour etc.



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angieh's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: Magnificent moggies
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 21,717
10-01-2011, 11:52 AM   #8

Re: Understanding your pet's Blood work


Excellent and informative article. It is sometimes very hard to take information in at the vet, especially when you are so worried about a sick pet. Great to be able to clarify what's what here.



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Catsey Junior
 
Cats owned: Short haired cross
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: London, UK
Posts: 65
07-07-2011, 04:27 PM   #9

Re: Understanding your pet's Blood work


Good idea about keeping the article as a sticky, Velvet.

This is an article that will always want to be referenced to.



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