As veterinarians, we often wish we could just ask our patients to tell us where it hurts. Unfortunately, evaluating sick pets is much more complicated, which is why blood work is such a valuable diagnostic tool. Routine blood testing can help determine causes of illness, verify organ health prior to anesthetized medical treatments, and aid in the general maintenance of healthy pets.
When Do Vets Recommend Labwork
On the first veterinary visit: It is recommended to bring a fecal sample on your first visit to rule out any parasites which are common in puppies and kittens.
During semi-annual wellness exams: This is recommended if your veterinarian suggests it as part of a thorough physical examination because your pets blood work, along with other bodily fluids like urine, can help identify conditions the examination portion of a physical cannot.
If your pet seems not quite right: Blood tests are suitable for a pet that is not displaying any overt signs of illness, disease or injury, but is acting abnormal.
Pre-surgical tests: Your pets blood work is used to determine the efficiency of the liver and kidneys, which helps a veterinarian select the safest dose of anesthesia. Tests can also help determine the surgical risk level in infirmed, elderly or injured patients.
Prior to starting a new medication: Particularly for new medication may be metabolized by the liver or kidney.
During senior wellness exams: Your animals blood tests are usually recommended for mature, senior and geriatric pets as part of their periodic wellness exams. These are extremely beneficial, as we often see senior pets return to a more youthful state of being when blood tests identify an issue that can be easily treated.