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From your veterinarian

Understanding your pet’s blood work

Blood tests help us determine your pet’s health status and causes of illness accurately, safely, and
quickly and let us monitor the progress of medical treatments. A checkmark in any box indicates a
significant abnormal finding on your pet’s blood work. If you have questions, ask any staff member. We
want you to understand our recommendations and be a partner in your pet’s care.

Complete blood count (CBC)

The most common test, a CBC gives information on > WBC (white blood cell) count classifies and
hydration status, anemia, infection, the blood’s clotting measures the body’s immune cells. Increases or
ability, and the immune system’s ability to respond. decreases indicate certain diseases or infections.
> HCT (hematocrit) measures the percentage of red > EOS (eosinophils) are a specific type
blood cells to detect anemia and dehydration. of white blood cells that, if elevated, may
indicate allergic or parasitic conditions.
> Hb and MCHC (hemoglobin and mean corpuscular
hemoglobin concentration) measure hemoglobin, the > PLT (platelet count) measures cells that help
oxygen-carrying pigment of red blood cells (corpuscles). stop bleeding by forming blood clots.
> GRANS and L/M (granulocytes and lymphocytes/ > RETICS (reticulocytes) are immature red blood
monocytes) are specific types of white blood cells cells. high or low levels help classify anemias.

Serum chemistry profile and low albumin are just a few of the cause collapse, seizures, or coma.
These common tests evaluate conditions that alter serum calcium.
> K (potassium) is an electrolyte
organ function, electrolyte status, > CHOL (cholesterol) is used lost with vomiting, diarrhea, or
hormone levels, and more. to supplement diagnosis excessive urination. Increased
> ALB (albumin) is a serum protein of hypothyroidism, liver levels may indicate kidney failure,
that helps evaluate hydration, disease, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, dehydration, and
hemorrhage, and intestinal, and diabetes mellitus. urethral obstruction. High levels can
liver, and kidney health. > Cl (chloride) is an electrolyte lead to cardiac arrest and death.
often lost with vomiting and > LIP (lipase) is an enzyme that may
> ALKP or ALP (alkaline phosphatase)
Addison’s disease. Elevations indicate pancreatitis when elevated.
elevations may indicate liver
often indicate dehydration.
damage, Cushing’s disease, and > Na (sodium) is an electrolyte lost
active bone growth in young pets. > Cortisol is a hormone that is with vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney
measured in tests for Cushing’s
> ALT (alanine aminotransferase) disease (the low-dose dexamethasone
or Addison’s diseases. This test also
is a sensitive indicator of active helps indicate hydration status.
suppression test) and Addison’s
liver damage but doesn’t > PHOS (phosphorous) elevations
disease (ACTH stimulation test).
indicate the cause. are often associated with kidney
> CREA (creatinine) reflects kidney
> AMYL (amylase) elevations show function. This test helps distinguish
disease, hyperthyroidism,
pancreatitis or kidney disease. and bleeding disorders.
between kidney and nonkidney
> AST (aspartate aminotransferase) causes of elevated BUN. > TBIL (total bilirubin) elevations may
increases may indicate liver, heart, > GGT (gamma-glutamyl indicate liver or hemolytic disease.
or skeletal muscle damage. transpeptidase) is an enzyme that, This test helps identify bile duct
when elevated, indicates liver problems and certain types of anemia.
> BUN (blood urea nitrogen) reflects
kidney function. An increased disease or corticosteroid excess. > TP (total protein) indicates
blood level is called azotemia and > GLOB (globulin) is a blood hydration status and provides
can be caused by kidney, liver, and protein that often increases information about the liver,
heart disease, urethral obstruction, with chronic inflammation and kidneys, and infectious diseases.
shock, and dehydration. certain disease states. > T4 (thyroxine) is a thyroid hormone.
> Ca (calcium) deviations can > GLU (glucose) is blood sugar. Decreased levels often signal
indicate a variety of diseases. Tumors, Elevated levels may indicate diabetes hypothyroidism in dogs, while high
hyperparathyroidism, kidney disease, mellitus or stress. Low levels can levels indicate hyperthyroidism in cats.