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When would labtratory work be needed?

Unfortunately, pets can’t tell us where it hurts, and sometimes, a healthy appearing animal may be masking symptoms of disease or illness. We recommend veterinary diagnostic testing to identify any problems and to begin treatment as early as possible. These tests are especially helpful when symptoms are unspecific or hard to define. Bloodwork allows the vet to assess symptoms they are not able to see or feel, such as indicators of liver disease or diabetes for example, which can help lead to a diagnosis. 

In addition lab work allows the vet to assess symptoms they can't see or feel, such as indicators of liver disease or diabetes for example. In healthy pets, blood work helps doctors establish a “baseline” for each individual dog or cat. A baseline blood panel determines what is considered “normal” for a particular pet. This is especially important if the pet becomes ill because it helps the doctor to interpret any changes more accurately in blood work results. Performing blood tests on healthy pets can also detect underlying problems, which your veterinarian may be able to treat before they become a bigger issue. Even slight changes in body chemistry could signal a problem that may be easily managed.

How do veterinarians use blood work?

To ensure a proper diagnosis, we first examine prior to taking any blood. Once the blood is drawn, the veterinarian will place some in each of two or more different blood tubes. The tubes contain various chemicals that help prepare the blood for the tests that will be run. Some of the blood is spun in a centrifuge to separate components for testing. Once this is complete, the vet will determine whether the blood work will be run in clinic or sent off to the laboratory for results. The veterinarian or a staff member will then contact pet owners with results and answer any questions they may have at the time.