Why does my cat need blood work?
Routine blood work testing/screening allow us to detect diseases during an earlier stage. This allows treatment to slow or stop progression of diseases before they cause significant damage to the body. Yearly bloodwork acts as a baseline to compare as our pets age. We can quickly detect changes to organs and prevent damage to the body.
Routine blood testing usually involves two samples, a complete blood count or CBC and a serum chemistry. The CBC is a count of the red blood cells, white bloods cells (usually separated into different types of white blood cells and percentage makeup of the total white blood cells) and platelets. The CBC allows us to determine anemia (a low red blood cell count), infection or inflammatory processes (white blood cells numbers and percentages) and platelets (clotting abilities). The serum chemistry analyzes different enzymes and electrolytes in the blood. These give us an idea about function of different organs in the body such as liver and kidney function.
These values can help to determine the health of the internal organs. Serum chemistry values can also act as indicators of other diseases such as Cushings disease or Addisons disease.
Cats develop some common diseases as they age. Kidney disease, diabetes and hyperthyroidism are three common diseases. These diseases can be detected with routine blood work. These diseases, although not usually curable, are all treatable diseases when detected early in the disease process. There are other signs that may be noted at home such as an increase in thirst and urination or weight loss, but sometimes their onset is gradual and subtle changes are not noted when you see your pet every day.
Our pets age much faster than we do. A yearly visit to the veterinarian for your pet is the equivalent of you going to the doctor once every five or six years. This is why yearly examinations and blood work is so important. Preventive care and routine testing can detect potential problems before they can develop into serious health issues.
Our pets count on us to help them to lead healthy and happy lives. Routine blood work screening can keep our pets healthy and detect diseases in early preventable stages. Here at Starkey Ranch Animal Hospital we recommend yearly blood screening and offer wellness blood work (and now senior blood work for pets over the age of seven) at a discounted price with their yearly preventative care examinations and vaccinations.