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Understanding Blood Tests for Cats

In this post, our veterinarians in Torrance talk about the various veterinary diagnostic laboratory tests they can conduct on cats and the insights you can gain regarding your cat's health from these tests.

What kind of info can we learn in a cat bloodwork?

You prioritize your cat's health, and ensuring they remain in good health requires regular check-ups. But have you ever considered what valuable information your veterinarian gets from lab tests during these routine visits?

At Torrance, we emphasize prevention and conduct comprehensive examinations of your pet's well-being, leaving no stone unturned. This encompasses thorough internal assessments, including evaluations of blood pressure, heart rate, rhythm, and blood chemistry, as well as essential screenings such as blood and urine analyses.

With our in-house veterinary diagnostic lab, we can swiftly diagnose symptoms and initiate treatment when needed. A typical blood test encompasses a complete blood count (CBC) and a blood chemistry profile. Additionally, your veterinarian might recommend tests for feline AIDS, feline leukemia, and thyroid hormone levels.

Each of these tests yields valuable insights into your cat's overall health.

Complete Blood Count

In a pet laboratory, this test measures your cat's red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells. Each specific type of white blood cell uniquely responds to potential threats that the immune system may encounter.

With a CBC, the vet analyzes the total number of white blood cells and quantifies the presence of each type of white blood cell in your cat's blood sample.

Red blood cells (RBCs) transport oxygen to various tissues in the body. A CBC assesses the quantity of RBCs in your cat's blood and gauges their ability to carry oxygen based on hemoglobin levels (the protein responsible for oxygen transport) in the blood.

Platelets play a critical role in blood clotting. Insufficient platelet levels can lead to inadequate clotting, resulting in abnormal or excessive bleeding in your cat. A CBC test can ascertain the platelet count in your cat's blood.

Blood Chemistry Profile

The blood chemistry profile test examines various compounds in your cat's bloodstream to provide information about your cat's kidney function, identify any renal system abnormalities, and detect signs of dehydration or obstructions in your cat's body.

The liver plays a crucial role in your cat's health, and elevated levels of certain chemicals may indicate liver disease or abnormalities in other organs. This test will reveal such values.

Additionally, this test can also identify abnormal levels of electrolytes, which may be associated with conditions like gastrointestinal disease, seizures, and other illnesses.

Blood protein levels are critical to your cat's health, as they play roles in immune system function and clotting. A blood chemistry profile will inform your vet about total protein levels, globulin levels, and albumin levels. 

Thyroid Hormone Measurements

You can measure thyroid hormones to determine if your cat has hyperthyroidism. This common disease typically affects middle-aged and senior cats, causing their bloodstream to have elevated levels of thyroid hormones.

Feline AIDS and Feline Leukemia Testing

If your cat hasn't undergone prior testing, faces a heightened risk of exposure, or is currently unwell, your vet may perform tests for feline leukemia and feline AIDS. This examination is also applicable if your cat has come into contact with another cat harboring either of these viruses. It's crucial to remember that even though retroviruses cause both viruses, they are separate entities.

Based on the outcomes of these fundamental blood tests, your vet might propose further, more specialized examinations.

Urine Test

To perform a urine test during your cat's regular check-up, you need to provide a urine sample from your pet. Although this task may not be the most enjoyable, it plays a crucial role in detecting serious disorders such as urinary tract infections, bladder stones, incontinence, kidney disease, Cushing's syndrome, diabetes, and liver disease. Prioritizing this test is significant since it can save your cat's life.

These tests can yield results that enable your vet to detect conditions at an early stage. Consequently, your pet may have the opportunity to lead a happier, healthier, and longer life if these conditions are diagnosed and treated before they progress into more severe problems. Additionally, your vet can offer guidance on overall health and nutrition, as well as take preventive measures against illnesses and diseases.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets.

If it's time for your cat's annual check-up and blood work, don't delay – reach out to a vet lab in Torrance to book an appointment and ensure the well-being of your beloved pet.

New Patients Welcome

New Patients Welcome

Harbor Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Torrance companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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(310) 328-3733