Senior blood work and why

It seems like it was just yesterday when you brought your little ball of fluff home to become a part of the family. This could have been when they were just 8 weeks old or if you were lucky to find them at a mature age. Regardless of when your pet became a part of your life, you have always strived to make sure they are comfortable, well fed and well loved.  

After the age of 7- our pets are now considered seniors.  Apart from a physical examination by your veterinarian, senior blood work is another way to gain more information on the health of your pet. 

At Chedoke Animal Hospital, our blood work is generally run in house and allows for quicker results.  Quicker results means quicker treatment for your mature pet.

How is blood collected?

Generally, a needle is inserted into the jugular vein to collect a small sample of blood.  This is a large vessel which allows for quicker collection and pets seem to prefer this area for collection rather than a leg (especially those who hate their paws touched).

What is the veterinarian looking for?

Depending on what blood test your veterinarian has ordered, blood tests will give us information on;

Red blood cells: Is your pet anemic? Producing replacement red blood cells?

White blood cells: High white blood cells can indicate an infection (i.e. a parasite infection).

Chemistry: These tests take a look at the health of your pet’s internal organs.  Some organs include kidneys and the liver. One value that we test at Chedoke Animal Hospital, is Symmetric Dimethylarginine (SDMA).  This marker will increased when kidney function has decreased by 25%. Traditionally, kidney function will decrease by 75% before it will show up in blood work.

T4:  This tests whether your pet is hyperthyroid or hypothyroid which will mean medications will be needed to manage the condition. 

Blood results can help veterinarian decide which medications are better suited to your pet’s needs.

Overall, blood work is not meant to be scary.  It is meant to be a preventative measure to ensure that your veterinarian team can catch any medical conditions early so you and your pet can enjoy maturity even longer.

Give us a call-let us help you help your pet age gracefully.