Blood Screening for disease is a routine procedure in human medicine
to reveal problems that cannot be detected from physical examination. A
Blood Profile may be recommended for a variety of reasons:
In early stages of the disease process many subtle changes in the blood
profile can give us an early indication of a future problem. Frequently
we can then make minor changes in diet or institute medications that will
allow your pet to live a longer, healthier life.
Geriatric testing (for older pets)
Follow-up of previously abnormal test results
Some common tests included in the Blood Profile include:
Once the blood profile is interpreted additional test may be required to
further characterize your pets condition. These could include: urinalysis,
X-rays, Ultrasound exam or biopsy.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
White Blood Count (WBC): high values indicate bacterial infection, low
values indicate viral infections.
Red Blood Count (RBC): Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body.
Red Blood cells are produced in the bone marrow. Loss of red blood cells
results in anemia and reduce oxygen carrying capacity of the the blood.
Packed Cell Volume (PCV): Blood is placed in a tube, then centrifuged to
separate the Red Blood Cells from the plasma (fluid that the red cells
are suspended in). The PCV is the percent of the tube the red cells occupy
relative to the total blood volume in the tube. Decrease in the packed
cell volume indicates a loss of red blood cells. Increase in the packed
cell volume (percentage) indicates a decrease in plasma (dehydration).
The sum of albumin (protein formed in the liver) and globulin (antibodies
are globulin proteins) equals the Total Protein. Elevation in total protein
indicates dehydration. Decrease in total protein signifies a loss
of protein (kidney disease or bowel disease) or lack of production (liver
Elevations indicates either liver disease, bone disease (normally elevated
in young growing animals) gall bladder disease, hormonal disease, or concurrent
medication (cortisone, anticonvulsants) Further testing is required when
when alkaline phosphatase is elevated.
ALT (Alanine AminoTransferase)
Elevations indicate liver disease.
Increases may indicate stress, diabetes, or cortisone use.
Decrease may indicate insulin producing tumor.
Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
Increases indicated dehydration or kidney disease.
Decreases indicate liver disease.
Increases indicate dehydration or kidney disease
Increase indicates poor kidney function.
changes give information regarding hydration status, hormone balance, effect
of vomiting and diarrhea.
Blood Profiles result in the early detection of metabolic problems which
can prolong your pets life and prevent unnecessary surgical risk.