What Blood Tests Can Tell You About Your Cat\'s Health

Blood tests are essential in evaluating the health status of cats. They provide crucial information that may not be apparent during a physical exam. If you have a feline companion, it will help to understand the types of feline blood work available. You should know why and when it is best to perform feline blood tests and what you can learn from them.

Why Perform Feline Blood Tests?

Feline blood tests can identify underlying medical conditions. They help veterinary professionals diagnose and treat your cat effectively. Blood tests are necessary to set a healthy baseline. They help vets check for potential health concerns.

Routine blood tests can help identify conditions not revealed during a physical examination. They can help identify issues before they become major health problems. Additionally, they can provide valuable information about a cat's general health. They help vets select the safest form of anesthesia during surgeries.

Types of Blood Work for Cats

Veterinarians use several types of blood work to diagnose and treat feline conditions. These include:

  • Feline leukemia

  • Complete blood count

  • Blood serum

  • Total thyroid level

Understanding Your Cat's Blood Tests

After analyzing your cat's blood, your vet will help you understand abnormal results. Feline blood tests can reveal a lot of information about a cat's health status, including the following:

  • Albumin - suggests hydration, hemorrhage, intestinal, liver, and kidney disease

  • Amylase - suggests pancreatitis or kidney disease

  • Cortisol - measured in tests for Cushing's disease and Addison's disease

  • Glucose - elevated levels can suggest diabetes mellitus. Low levels can result in collapse, seizures, or coma, which can be life-threatening for cats

  • Alkaline phosphatase - suggests liver damage, Cushing's disease, or active bone growth

  • Alanine aminotransferase - determines active liver damage but does not state the cause

  • Total bilirubin - elevated levels can help identify bile duct problems and anemia

  • Chloride - Elevated levels often suggest dehydration, which can be severe for cats

  • Aspartate aminotransferase - may suggest liver, heart, or skeletal muscle damage

  • Total protein - elevated levels may suggest an ongoing health problem requiring treatment

  • Globulin - elevated levels may suggest an ongoing health problem that needs attention

  • Gamma-glutamyl transferase - elevated levels of GGT may suggest a liver problem

  • Thyroxine - high levels can suggest hyperthyroidism in cats

  • Creatinine - elevated levels can suggest a kidney problem. They can also suggest mild dehydration in the period leading up to the blood test

  • Blood urea nitrogen - suggests an issue with kidney function

  • Calcium - abnormal levels can suggest various feline diseases

  • Lipase - may suggest pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas

  • Potassium - elevated levels suggest dehydration, Addison's disease, kidney failure, or urethral obstruction

  • Cholesterol - supplements the diagnosis of hypothyroidism, liver disease, and more

  • Sodium - may suggest hydration status, which is essential for cats' overall health

  • Phosphorus - elevated levels can suggest an ongoing health problem that needs attention

Bottom Line

Notably, feline blood tests are more effective when used as part of a diagnostic plan. More testing may be necessary to get an accurate diagnosis. Elevated levels of specific blood parameters can suggest many health problems. Veterinarians use their clinical expertise and diagnostic tests to make a definitive diagnosis. This helps them provide the best possible care.

For more pet care tips, visit La Jolla Veterinary Hospital at our office in La Jolla, California. Call (858) 454-6155 to book an appointment today.

rats3898 none 7:30 am - 6:00 pm 7:30 am - 6:00 pm 7:30 am - 6:00 pm 7:30 am - 6:00 pm 7:30 am - 6:00 pm Closed Closed veterinarian # # # https://www.lajollavet.com/schedule-an-appointment.html