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Lab Results - Understanding Your Dog's Blood Results

This information copied from www.cah.com/dr_library/labtests.html

"Blood tests help determine causes of illness accurately, safely, and quickly and allow us to monitor the progress of medical treatments.

This guide may help you understand your pet’s test results. Proper communication with YOUR veterinarian is essential regarding interpretation of lab results. Lab values are not given as laboratories may have different normal values.

Complete blood count (CBC)

A CBC gives information on hydration status, anemia, infection, the blood’s clotting ability, and the ability of the immune system to respond. This test is important for pets with fevers, vomiting, weakness, pale gums, or loss of appetite. If your pet needs surgery, a CBC can detect bleeding disorders or other unseen abnormalities.

Hematocrit ( HCT, PCV) measures the percentage of red blood cells to detect anemia and dehydration.

Hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration are the oxygen-carrying pigments of red blood cells.

White blood cells (WBC) measures the body’s immune cells. Increases or decreases indicate certain diseases or infections.

Granulocytes and lymphocytes/monocytes are specific types of white blood cells.

Eosinophils are specific types of white blood cells that may indicate allergic or parasitic conditions.

Platelet counts measure cells that form blood clots.

Reticulocyte are immature red blood cell. High levels indicate regenerative anemia.

Blood chemistries

These tests evaluate organ function, electrolyte status, and hormone levels. They also give barometers of adrenal function and other diseases. We use these tests for base lines as pets age, preanesthetic evaluation, long term medications, as well as evaluating sick animals.

Albumen (ALB)is serum protein that helps evaluate hydration, hemorrhage, and intestinal, liver, and kidney disease.

Alkaline phosphatase (ALKP)elevations may indicate liver damage, Cushing's disease, active bone growth in young pets. This test is especially significant in cats as even slight elevations are indicative of liver disease .

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT, SGPT) is an indicator of active liver damage but does not indicate the underlying cause.

Amylase (AMYL) elevations show pancreatitis or kidney disease

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST, SGOT ) increases may indicate liver, heart, or skeletal muscle damage.

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) indicates kidney function. An increased blood level is called azotemia and may be caused by kidney, liver, heart disease, urethral obstruction, shock, dehydration, or an intestinal or stomach foreign body. A low BUN may indicate a cirrhotic liver or portal shunt.

Calcium (CA) deviations may indicate a variety of diseases. Tumors, hyperparathyroidism, kidney disease, anal gland tumor, are just a few of the diseases that alter calcium levels.

Cholesterol (CHOL) is used to supplement diagnosis of hypothyroidism, liver disease, Cushing's disease, and diabetes mellitus.

Chloride (CL) is an electrolyte often lost with vomiting and Addison’s disease. Elevations may indicate dehydration.

Cortisol is a hormone measuring tests for Cushing’s disease (low dose dexamethasone suppression test, high dose dexamethasone suppression, urine cortisol-creatinine ) and Addison’s disease (ACTH stimulation test).

Creatinine reveals kidney function. This test helps distinguish between kidney and nonkidney causes of elevated BUN.

Gamma glutamyl transferase (GGPT) is an enzyme that indicates liver disease or corticosteroid excess.

Globulin is a blood protein that often increases with chronic inflammation and certain diseases such as FIP .

Glucose is a blood sugar. Elevated levels may indicate diabetes mellitus (cats dogs). Low levels can cause collapse, seizures, or coma.

Potassium (K) is an electrolyte lost with vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive urination. Increased levels may indicate kidney failure, Addison’s disease, dehydration, and urethral obstruction. High levels can lead to cardiac arrest. Low levels may occur with loss of appetite especially in cats.

Lipase is an enzyme that may indicate pancreatitis.

Sodium (Na) is an electrolyte lost with vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney and Addison’s disease. This test helps indicate hydration status.

Phosphorus (Phos) elevations are often associated with kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and bleeding disorders.

Bilirubin elevations may indicate liver, gall bladder, or hemolytic diseases.

Total protein indicates hydration status and provides additional information about the liver, intestine, kidney, and infection.

1-protcasc inhibitor (a1-PI)-a single sample of feces has been shown to be a reliable method to detect protein-losing enteropathy in human and pet patients.

Thyroid tests (T4, Free T4, TSH) is a thyroid test. Decreased levels signal hypothyroidism, while high levels indicate hyperthyroidism in cats.

TLI, B12, Folate are intestinal tests to indicate malfunction of the digestive tract of cats and dogs.

Bile Acids-A specific test evaluating liver function-congenital liver shunts, cirrhosis, active liver disease.

Fecal exams analyze for intestinal parasites.

Urinalysis(UA) evaluates kidney functions, bladder pathology, infection, urine concentration, if bladder stones or the precursors for stones are present, and other disease.

Urine-Protein Creatinine Ration - measure of kidney failure

Cytology - a smear or needle aspirate applied to a slide to evaluate cells

Culture and Sensativity - determines the type of bacteria and type of antibiotic best suited to treat the condition.

Biopsy - a large sample tissue sent for analysis

This site and its contents are intended to serve as basic informational purposes 
 --not a substitute for-- 
professional veterinary care!

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