Veterinary Blood Panel
One of the most important tools in the diagnostic process is the blood panel.
This is a noninvasive test that provides a plethora of information about the general health of your pet. As a part of their regular wellness check-up, it is important to conduct whether the pet is old or young, sick or healthy.
That being said, if something is wrong with your pet, the blood panel can give the vet great insight into the potential causes.
Blood panels typically cost $100–$200. The price will increase if more thorough laboratory analyses are required. It typically takes about only 10 seconds to extract the blood from a surface vein, and it does not cause the pet much discomfort other than a slight poke.
The blood panel consists of two major components: A complete blood count (CBC) and a chemistry profile.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
A complete blood count will provide information regarding the pet’s overall health. The vet will test the cells that compose the blood and check for healthy levels of the following:
- Red blood cells: These cells are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body and removing carbon dioxide. If the red blood cells are low, your pet is anemic. Further tests will be required to determine the cause of the anemia.
If they are too high, your pet is probably dehydrated. The vet will also test if the red blood cells are healthy, which provides information about the bone marrow, spleen, and kidneys.
- White blood cells: There are a few different types of white blood cells. Generally, they are responsible for healing the body. The number of white blood cells present can reveal an infection, inflammation, or even cancer.
- Platelets: Platelets are the protein responsible for blood clots. These clots turn into scabs when the pet is injured and help the healing process. If the platelets are too low, your pet may have an illness affecting clotting, or may not be eligible for surgery. The vet will address this problem first before moving forward with the procedure.
Next, the vet will analyze the serum, which is the liquid part of the blood. This is taken from the same blood draw and used to detect diseases in the organs.
An increase in certain enzymes, for example, can reveal issues with the liver, kidneys, gallbladder and many other organ systems.
The vet will also analyze the electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and chloride, found in your pet’s blood. Alterations in these chemicals can create a complete medical picture for a sick pet.
Finally, the panel will determine the blood glucose levels, also known as blood sugar. Too much glucose suggests diabetes, while insufficient glucose can indicate other syndromes such as insulinoma, poor nutrition, or hypoglycemia.
These tests are part of most basic blood panels. However, if your pet needs additional testing, a more comprehensive panel might be suggested.
For example, a retroviral panel will be used to diagnose Felv/FIV/FIP in cats. Or a thyroid test may be needed for older pets.
Your vet will communicate clearly which tests are necessary and how these additional tests might impact the cost.
Veterinary Diagnostic Testing in Frederick, MD
When your pet is sick, you need a team of vets that can offer a fast and reliable diagnosis. Bring him down to Old Farm Veterinary Hospital!
We offer comprehensive diagnostic testing and treatment for your furry friends. Our caring and experienced vets work hard to keep your pet comfortable during the process. Conveniently located in Frederick, Maryland, we can get to the bottom of your pet’s illness and help him feel better faster.