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SmartVets Animal Hospital

                              BLOOD TEST IN PETS
Blood test involves scientific examination of a sample of your pet’s blood. Blood test is an important diagnostic tool which provides remarkably accurate and timely information about disease, infection and overall health status of your pet.  Blood tests may be recommended for several reasons. Some examples are:

  • As a screening test:  Apparently healthy looking pets can have latent health problems which if left undetected can potentially lead to serious complications. It is not always possible to identify such health problems by physical examination alone. Under these conditions, blood tests can be used to identify, treat and prevent these developing problems that can be treated before they become serious.  Remember early detection can make a difference.
  • Detect underlying body organs:  If your pet has underlying problems in the kidneys, liver, or pancreas some medications can harmful to your pet. Your vet may recommend a blood test before prescribing such medications to your pet. Blood test allows your vet to look at the functions of these body organs.
  • Establish a baseline picture of health for individual pet: Even if you pet is young and healthy, blood test will provide records of good health values for your individual pet. Such records can be reviewed at subsequent examinations of your pet as a base line for identifying any abnormalities or trends.
  • Other situations: Blood test is done prior to anaesthetics to identify possible problems that could arise during surgery. Additionally the risk of some diseases increases as your pet gets older. Also your senior pet might be suffering from more than one disease at the same time. Under these conditions blood tests can be used to detect specific disease conditions.


How are blood samples collected?
Basically blood samples are collected by venepuncture which involves putting a needle into the vein by a vet, technician or nurse.  In dogs and cats one of the following three sites is commonly used for venepuncture.

  • the jugular vein on the front of the neck
  • the cephalic vein: on the front of the foreleg
  • the saphenous vein: on the hind leg

Blood samples can be collected at any time you take your pet to your vet’s clinic. However some cases require blood samples be taken at specific times over extended period.  Consult your veterinarian for your pet’s individual requirements.

Venepuncture is a simple procedure and can be carried out quickly. The site of venepuncture might require clipping a small amount of hair. Your pet will be restrained and the area of blood collection is cleaned with alcohol swabs before the needle is put into the vein.  A small amount of blood is collected from the site, which is then processed either in the clinic or sent to a laboratory for analyses.

What are the types of blood test?
There are two types of standard blood tests- complete blood count and blood chemistry profile.
Complete blood count determines the number and types of blood cells present in the blood. Diagnosis of a disease or infection is made depending upon the increase or decrease in the number of specific type of blood cells. The blood chemistry profile, on the other hand, measures the quantity of electrolytes, enzymes or other elements present in the blood to assess a range of organ functions.