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Why Bloodwork Is Important For Your Pet

Have you ever wondered why when you bring your pet into Hazel Dell Animal Hospital for an annual check up, the nurse lets you know that your pet is due for bloodwork or recommends it for the first time.
What does that even mean? Here is a quick list of reasons why your
 veterinarian might recommend you getting bloodwork. 

1. A Heartworm Test - this may be the one that you are most familiar with. We recommend having this done once a year to ensure that you pet has not been exposed to deadly heartworms. Our hospital here in Carmel has not previously diagnosed many cases, though we have treated 5 cases of Heartworm Positive dogs in the last 2 years. Treatment for heartworms can be quite costly which is why we recommend giving prevention once monthly and year round versus treating, in the hopes that they will not get exposed. 

2.  Pre-Anesthetic Bloodwork - If you pet is going to have a surgical procedure, they would most likely have this bloodwork done first. We want to be sure that there is no underlying conditions that we should be aware of and that you pet's body can handle the anesthestic drugs that we would need to use. 

3. Senior Bloodwork - If your pet (dog or cat) is over a certain age, our doctors may recommend senior bloodwork. They would be looking for changes in liver and kidney values as well as differences in red and white blood cells, among others. Even if your pet is doing well, it is great to have a baseline for when they really do get sick. 

4. Recheck Bloodwork - This is recommeneded when one of our doctors wants to make sure your pet's body is responding to the treatment. This can determine if changes in the treatment plan need to be adjusted.  The time frame for doing recheck bloodwork varies upon the condition of your pet. 

5.  Metabolic Diseases - In some cases, the signs that you indicate to our veterinarians may lead them to decide to check for certain metabolic diseases such as Diabetes, Thyroid disease,  etc. It is also possible for your pet to have already been diagnosed and you are checking to be sure the medications that are being taken are working at the correct dosages.  

6. Bloodwork for Medication - If you pet is on a medication that needs to be closely monitored, then our veterinarians may request bloodwork to be done at certain intervals. Medications for seizures, metabolic diseases, NSAID's, etc are watched to be sure that they are effective and safe based on your pet's bloodwork results.

There can be many reasons that bloodwork is recommended and we want to do what is best for your pets. It is important because there are medications that can be used only if your pet is healthy enough to have them or we are trying to prevent diseases from becoming more of a problem for your pet. If at anytime you have questions about the bloodwork that is recommended, please ask. We are always here to help.  

written by Danielle Fuller ~ RVT


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