Even cats that appear happy and healthy can have hidden medical problems that might grow serious, even life-threatening if left undetected. Blood tests are essential for identifying diseases at the earliest most treatable stage possible.
Detection through blood tests helps prevent and treat potentially dangerous illnesses. Sick or senior cats often have more than one disease affecting them, complicating diagnosis and treatment. Blood tests can help pinpoint the problems. Some medications can harm cats with underlying problems like kidney or liver disease. Blood tests can ensure your cat is healthy enough to take the medication. Even in young and healthy cats, lab testing gives us a valuable baseline picture of what represents good health for your individual cat. A recommended part of your cat’s annual exam, blood tests can spot health trends sooner, before they become more serious
Standard blood test panels for cats routinely check for many problems. Most commonly we will look at:
• Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC) provides important information about the types and number of blood cells in your cat’s blood. A low red blood cell count, for example, indicates anemia, while a high white blood cell count can indicate an infection, chronic inflammation, or another disease process.
• Blood Chemistry Profile is particularly important for evaluating organ function (e.g., liver, kidneys), electrolytes, blood sugar, screening for the presence of an endocrine disorder, etc. Any abnormalities will help us decide on further diagnostic tests or treatments.
• Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (feline AIDS) testing is important for all cats. For a more complete picture, we will often combine a blood panel with other tests, such as a urinalysis and fecal examination.