Two of the leading causes of death in dogs and cats today are chronic renal disease (kidney failure) and cancer. Research has shown that if some of these conditions, especially kidney disease, can be found early progression of the disease may be slowed, leading to a longer healthier life for your pet. Your veterinarian may ask you if a wellness blood profile can be completed on your pet. There are different profiles available but most include a complete blood count (CBC), a serum chemistry, a urinalysis, and a thyroid test.
CBC: A CBC will check your pet's red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC), and platelets. It is a test that checks the overall healthiness of the number and types of cells in the circulation. WBC's help fight infection and may be present in inflammatory diseases. RBC's carry oxygen to the tissues, and platelets are involved in the clotting of the blood. Abnormalities may include anemia, decreased red blood cells, which can be associated with cancer and kidney disease. Leukocytosis, increased white blood cells, which can be associated with some cancers, infections and inflammations. And thrombocytopenia, decreased platelet count, which can be associated with with bleeding disorders, some cancers, didney disease, tick diseases, toxins, and certain viral diseases.
Serum Chemistry: A serum chemistry usually includes tests to check organ systems and how they are functiioning. It usually includes a blood glucose, calcium, electrolytes, kidney enzymes, liver enzymes, pancreatic enzymes, and protiens. ALP, AST, GGT, Bilirubin tests provide information about the liver. BUN, Creatinine, Potassium, Phosphorus, and Amylase tests provide information about the kidneys. Calcium levels may be increased or decreased with many diseases/disorders. Glucose levels can indicate diabetes if elevated and a tumor/other diseases if decreased. Amylase and Lipase provide infomation about the pancreas and intestinal disease. TP, Albumin, and Globulin tests provide information about the hydration level, liver, and inflammation.
T4: A T4 is a thyroid test. Increased T4 is often seen with hyperthyroidism in older cats. A decreased T4 may indicate hypothyroidism in dogs or another illness causing the level to be falsely low. It is also used to monitor levels of dogs receiving supplementation.
Free T4: A free T4 is used to verify thyroid disease.
Urinalysis: A urinalysis may reveal suspected diabetes, kidney disease, and infection. A urinalysis can reveal early kidney disease before blood values change.