Bloodwork is a very powerful diagnostic tool that is minimally invasive for your pet. It can reveal underlying medical conditions, the health of your pet’s organs, and expose other abnormalities. With our in-house laboratory, we are able to run a wide array of bloodwork panels; in-house results are typically received within a few minutes to hours. There are some tests which need to be sent to an outside laboratory, and depending on the type of test, results may take 1 day to several weeks (this will be discussed with you before any tests are sent out).
What type of blood tests are available?
The most common bloodwork we run at SAVE is a general panel. This panel includes a CBC (complete blood count), a chemistry panel, and an electrolyte panel.
A CBC can be an important tool in evaluating your pet’s overall health. It measures the cells that circulate in the blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. CBC tests can help identify conditions such as anemia, inflammation, certain cancers, and bone marrow disorders.
A chemistry panel measures the levels of several substances in the blood, providing information about your pet’s overall health and internal organ function. Monitoring a chemistry panel over time can be an important way to detect trends which may indicate early disease, or can be a way of monitoring response to treatment. For pets who are sick, a blood chemistry test is a very important tool to help determine the cause of their illness and guide treatment.
An electrolyte panel can help determine if there is an electrolyte imbalance in your pet’s body. Some electrolyte imbalances can be life-threatening. Identifying electrolyte abnormalities allows us to start treatment as soon as possible, as well as to continue to monitor response to treatment.
Please ask your vet if you have any questions about your pet’s bloodwork, recommended blood tests, or the results of the tests.
In an emergency:
Depending on the nature of your pet’s emergency, blood tests can be very important in determining the most appropriate treatment plan. Your vet will discuss the best management approach for your pet based on their individual circumstances. Some common emergency diagnostic blood tests include blood glucose, blood ketones, blood lactate, clotting times, and blood gas/acid-base tests. Results for some of these tests can be obtained within minutes while we work to stabilize your pet. A general panel often provides valuable information for management of emergencies as well, but will take slightly longer to run.
Prior to surgery:
Bloodwork will be recommended prior to any surgical procedure so we can ensure your pet is a good candidate for anesthesia and surgery. This gives our veterinarian a clear picture of the health of your pet prior to any procedures being performed. If any bloodwork abnormalities are detected, or if your pet has known pre-existing health concerns, these will be discussed with you, and a plan will be determined to ensure that the anesthetic protocol will be as safe as possible.
In the case that more specialized testing is needed, we will typically send the blood sample to a reference lab. Turnaround time is dependent on the type of test being performed.
How do I get an appointment for bloodwork?
- Your primary care veterinarian can refer your pet for testing through our diagnostic referral form.
- If you are admitted through our urgent care department and your pet would benefit from bloodwork we will form a treatment plan with you that best suits you and your pet’s needs.