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Blood Work for Aging Pets at St. Francis Animal Hospital in Las Vegas

As your pet starts to age, blood work is more important to be done than ever. Blood work for aging pets often shows illness or disease in the early stages, when it is most treatable. We at St. Francis Animal Hospital realize this, and want Las Vegas pet care to incorporate a more preventative plan, where we can catch illnesses early on.

The CBC Blood Work

St. Francis Animal Hospital uses a standard CBC blood workup that includes checking the white blood cell count, the hematocrit, hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, reticulocytes, platelet count, eosinophils count, and the amount of granulocytes, lymphocytes, and monocytes. The white blood cell count measures the amount of white blood cells in the system and tests the immune system while the hematocrit gives us the percentage of red blood cells detected. Hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration measures the hemoglobin amount, which is the red blood cells' oxygen-carrying pigment. The reticulocytes count measures the amount of immature red blood cells in the body and the platelet count measures platelets, which helps blood clot. Eosinophils count measures the amount of a certain white blood cell that helps determine parasites and allergies. Lastly, the Granulocytes, Lymphocytes, Monocytes test measures these specific white blood cell types.

The CBC blood tests show the pet’s immune system, and whether they are hydrated, anemic, clotting correctly, or have infection. It is often run on pets that have a loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and any diarrhea or weakness.

Blood Work for Aging Pets: The Blood Serum Profile

Another good and comprehensive blood test at St. Francis Animal Hospital is the blood serum profile. This includes the blood tests that check for albumin serum proteins, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, alanine aminotransferase, and aspartate aminotransferase. More tests included are the blood urea nitrogen test, checks on the calcium, cholesterol, chloride, and cortisol. Creatinine, gamma glutamyl transferase, globulin, glucose, potassium and lipase are measured as well as sodium, phosphorous, total bilirubin, total protein, and thyroxine.

Blood serum tests check hormones and organ function and the status of the pet's electrolytes. For example, elevated alkaline phosphatase shows liver problems and possible Cushing's disease, while high amylase shows kidney disease or possible pancreatitis. High blood glucose can indicate diabetes while high potassium can signal Addison's disease and lead to cardiac arrest.

As you can see, these are comprehensive tests that can show a variety of problems in animals. While you can choose to have just a CBC test, we encourage pet owners, with senior pets, to have both tests done. We at St. Francis Animal Hospital can take a simple blood draw from your pet and run both of these tests to determine their all-over health. For the best in Las Vegas pet care, and the best for your pet, have a simple blood draw done yearly as your pet ages. Contact us at 702-675-8366 to schedule an appointment for a blood test for your pet. 


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Dr. Drake and CarolAnn are amazing! They have been caring for my dogs for over 10 years now and I have never had one complaint. They are always so happy to see my dogs and provide them with the most compassionate care. I recommend them to any seeking an honest, caring, loving, empathizing and helpful veterinarian!

Bob H.
Las Vegas, NV

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