Routine blood work for our cats and our dogs can help veterinary professionals diagnose conditions like parasites, allergies, diabetes, liver disease, kidney failure, pancreatic issues, and more. Catching issues early on can help reverse, cure or slow down different conditions. Let’s break down the what, when, why, and how of pet routine blood work.

What Is Pet Bloodwork?

Bloodwork is when a veterinarian takes a blood sample from our pets. They do these to test the blood to diagnose and treat certain health conditions. It can also be used by vets to better understand the overall health of your pet, especially if they have a current health condition that needs regular monitoring. If your animal is getting ready for any type of surgery the vets will usually take blood work to ensure that the animal is healthy and strong enough to make it through surgery. Blood work can also help them determine what type of anesthesia might be best.

Blood testing for cats and dogs can be a very effective type of preventative care. If your dog is being screened for parasites, such as heartworms, then a basic blood test will simply indicate whether your pet is infected. Regular blood work can also catch certain diseases in time to reverse or avoid any major health complications for your pet.

Why Pet Blood Work Is Important

Blood work can be a part of a regular physical exam for your animal. As mentioned above, vets do it for preventative care and your pet's overall wellness.  

Pet routine blood work collects info such as:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) - including red blood cell count
  • Analysis of chemical components in their blood
  • Measures platelets (these allow your pets blood to clot and avoid hemorrhage)
  • Hydration status
  • Immune system response
  • Indicate levels of crucial substances:
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Liver enzymes
  • Electrolytes
  • Endocrine hormones
  • Glucose
  • Proteins

It is important to measure the amount of these chemicals and substances because too much, or too few, of them, can indicate certain health conditions. For example, if your pet has low albumin levels then there might be something wrong with their liver as that is where albumin is produced.

When Should I Bring My Pet In For Bloodwork?

As a part of a preventative wellness routine for your animal, you should get routine blood work at least once a year. This can be part of their annual physical check-up at the vets. Your vet might sometimes recommend more frequent blood work if they are concerned about different ailments developing as the animal ages.

There are also certain signs that pet parents can look out for that might indicate that their pet is sick and might need some bloodwork done. This includes:

  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Significant weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Refusal to eat
  • Diarrhea or common accidents
  • Displaying odd behavior
  • Itchiness

Pet routine blood work can also be a great way to detect things like anemia or infections as well as liver and kidney function, which can become important as your pet ages.

Preventative Care And Wellness

It is important that your pet sees a vet and gets routine wellness checks as they age. If your pet is getting up there in age you should consider blood work every 6-12 months as their health will be deteriorating quicker. If your animal has a chronic condition such as diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, etc, then it should also be receiving regular blood work.

Wagmo Wellness plan covers blood testing for cats and dogs. So whether it is a part of their yearly routine, or their vet recommends bloodwork, you are covered! A wellness plan can also help you cover the costs of vet visits, and other routine care such as fecal exams, flea/tick, vaccinations, dental cleaning and heartworm prevention and care.

Heartworm is a deadly parasite transmitted through mosquito bites that may live in the heart or arteries of your pet. This can be caught and diagnosed through blood tests and save your animal's life. Once your dog's test comes back heartworm free you can put them on a preventative care routine with your vet. It usually takes more tests to diagnose heartworm in cats, and unfortunately for cats, it is usually fatal.

If you're looking for pet wellness or pet insurance take our coverage quiz. You can mix and match different plans to create the perfect package for your pet, and your wallet!