Pet blood work has become a regular part of many pet parents' preventative care routines. Blood work can offer your pet many benefits and offer you peace of mind.
Routine pet blood work can help veterinary professionals diagnose conditions such as 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 routine pet blood work.
What is Pet Blood Work?
Blood work is when a veterinarian takes a blood sample from our pets. Blood samples allow vets to test the blood to diagnose and treat certain health conditions. These pet blood tests can also be used by vets to better understand your pet’s overall health, especially if they have a current health condition that needs regular monitoring.
If your pet is getting ready for any type of surgery, your vet will usually take blood work to ensure the animal is healthy and strong enough to make it through surgery. A pet blood test can also help vets determine what type of anesthesia to use.
Blood testing for cats and dogs can be an effective type of preventative care. If your dog is being screened for parasites, such as heartworms, a basic blood test will simply indicate whether your pet is infected. Regular pet 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 part of a regular physical exam for your animal. As mentioned above, vets do it for preventative care, and your pet's overall wellness.
Routine pet 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;
- Endocrine hormones;
It is important to measure the amount of these chemicals and substances because too much, or too few, 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 Blood Work?
As part of a preventative pet wellness plan 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 recommend more frequent blood work if they are concerned about different ailments developing as the animal ages.
Pet parents can also look out for certain signs that might indicate their pet is sick and in need of blood work. This includes:
- Significant weight loss;
- Refusal to eat;
- Diarrhea or common accidents;
- Displaying odd behavior;
Routine pet 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.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Blood Tests?
Wagmo’s pet wellness plan covers blood testing for cats and dogs. Whether it is a part of their yearly routine, or their vet recommends blood work, you are covered! A cat or dog 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.
Pet Wellness Plans: Preventative Care And Wellness
It is important that your pet sees a vet and gets routine wellness checks. As your pet gets older, you should consider blood work every six to twelve months as their health will deteriorate quicker. If your animal has a chronic condition such as diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, etc., it should also be receiving regular blood work.
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!