What Is Dog Blood Testing, and When Do We Need It?

We can discover information about your dog’s health through a blood test or a lab test. This information can only be gained through collecting and analyzing a blood sample. Included in this examination is a complete blood count (CBC) and blood chemistries, which investigate the chemical constituents of the blood.

How to Read a Dog’s Blood Test Results

The purpose of a canine CBC is to examine a blood sample and determine the number of different types of blood cells and platelets present. A close look at the cellular structure and condition can reveal important information about their health and functionality. 

With this knowledge, you can assess the health of your dog’s immune system (white blood cells) and its ability to transport oxygen (red blood cell count). Additionally, blood testing for dogs can identify the following conditions:

  • Glucose\s and Proteins
  • Electrolytes
  • Endocrine Cholesterol Levels
  • Enzymes for Digestive Absorption

Lab work for dogs can assist in detecting more than simply blood count because substances identified in the bloodstream can also correspond with certain organs. If a dog’s blood tests show low albumin levels, the doctor would likely check the organ responsible for making albumin: the liver.

Intricate anomalies in canine bodily systems can be detected and helped identified through laboratory testing. An aberrant reaction in a dog’s blood to external and internal stimuli might indicate an issue with the dog’s endocrine system, for example.

When seen in this light, canine blood tests are extremely valuable instruments in a veterinarian’s toolkit for detecting, identifying, diagnosing, and even treating illness or disease.

When Should a Veterinarian Suggest Dog Blood Tests?

There is a better probability that we can pinpoint the problem and administer a corrective medical procedure once a test has been made. Dog blood work may be ordered in the following circumstances:

  • Before spaying or neutering: Dogs should get a blood test to rule out congenital disorders and provide baseline information for pre-anesthetic testing.
  • During semi-annual wellness exams: If pet surgeons in Vancouver recommend it as part of a full physical examination, this is advised because dog blood tests, along with other physiological fluids like urine, can assist in discovering diseases that may be invisible on the physical exam.
  • If a dog appears unwell: Canine blood tests are appropriate for a dog who is not showing obvious signs of illness, disease, or injury but is acting unusually.
  • Pre-operative tests: Dog blood work is done to measure the effectiveness of the liver and kidneys, which allows a dog neurologist to choose the safest amount and kind of anesthesia. Tests can also help identify the surgical risk level in patients who are ill, aged, or injured. You can also visit here to learn more about it.
  • Before beginning a new medication: New medications, in particular, may be processed by the liver or kidney.
  • During senior wellness checkups: Dog blood tests are typically advised as part of the periodic wellness exams for mature, senior, and geriatric dogs. These are incredibly valuable, as we frequently see senior dogs revert to a more youthful state when blood tests reveal a problem that is easily remedied.

Although in-house dog laboratories may handle a wide range of canine blood work, the following are some of the most typical lab tests for dogs:

  • Blood Parasite Test: A small amount of your dog’s blood (3 drops) will be tested to see if they are infected with common, life-threatening blood parasites, including Lyme Disease and Anaplasmosis.
  • Urinalysis: This tests your dog’s urine for hydration, infections, renal or bladder problems, diabetes, and other health issues.
  • Fecal Exam: This will assess the color, consistency, and presence of blood or mucus in your dog’s stool sample. We then look for intestinal parasites, fungi, or protozoa under a microscope.
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): This analyzes your dog’s blood to examine blood properties such as red and white cell count, immune state, and hemoglobin, which is the component in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
  • Blood Clotting Times: This will look for bleeding issues in your dog’s blood.
  • Blood Chemistries: This will determine the state of your dog’s internal organs and overall health before anesthesia for surgery.
  • Cytology: This will collect sebum and cellular debris samples from the skin and ears to identify the presence of an infection. In addition, we may do a needle or core biopsy to look for cancer cells in lumps or tumors on your dog’s body.

It is advised to consult with your vet regarding dog blood work to make an educated decision about whether it would benefit your furry friend.