Veterinarian Column: What can be learned from blood tests, blood chemistry tests, and urine tests

by Alice's Dog & Cat獣医師

At a veterinary hospital, blood tests, blood chemistry tests, and urine tests are performed when your pet is sick or during a health checkup. These tests are used to understand the general condition of your dog or cat and identify any abnormalities in their organs.

This time, we will explain what blood tests, blood chemistry tests, and urine tests can tell you, as well as when to perform the tests.

■Blood test/blood chemistry test

Blood is collected from blood vessels in the front legs, hind legs, neck, etc. of animals.

In a blood test

・Red blood cells: Polycythemia (dehydration, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, heart disease, respiratory disease, tumor, etc.)

decrease (anemia)

・White blood cells: presence of inflammation, presence of stress, tumors (lymphoma, mast cell tumor, etc.)

・Platelets: Decrease (decreased production in bone marrow, increased consumption/destruction, etc.)

Increase (acute bleeding, malignant tumor)

・Blood blood component: Jaundice (hemolytic anemia, liver abnormality)

Hyperlipidemia (endocrine disease, metabolic disease, liver abnormality)

Hemolysis (such as immune-mediated anemia)

You can find out the information.

In blood chemistry tests

Alice's Dog & Cat_Veterinarian Column Animal Blood Test

Kidney ( BUN , Cre , P )

Liver ( GPT , GOT , ALP , GGT , bilirubin, ammonia, total bile acids )

Pancreas (amylase, lipase, TLI )

Adrenal glands ( GPT , GOT , ALP , GGT , GLu )

Thyroid ( Tcho , T₄ , fT₄ , TSH )

Digestive ( Na , K , Cl , TP , Alb , Glob , Tcho )

Diabetes ( Glu , fructosamine)

Causes of neurological signs (hypoglycemia, high K , low Ca , high ammonia)

Electrolyte abnormalities ( Na , K , Cl )

You can find out information such as.

■Urine test

There are several ways to collect urine: natural urination, passing a catheter through the urethra, and directly inserting a needle into the bladder. Normally, the test can be performed using naturally voided urine, but if an abnormality is found, a method of collecting urine directly from the bladder may be used to obtain more accurate information.

Alice's Dog & Cat_Veterinarian Column Dog and Cat Urine Test

With urine test strips

PH (risk of strobite crystal/stone formation ↑ in alkaline urine, bacterial growth in the bladder)

・Urine protein (inflammation of the urinary tract and decreased kidney function)

・Occult blood (presence or absence of blood in urine)

・Sugar (diabetes)

・Ketone bodies (starvation and diabetic ketoacidosis)

・Bilirubin (hepatobiliary diseases, hemolytic diseases)

You can find out information such as.

Alice's Dog & Cat_Veterinarian Column Dog and Cat Urine Test

■Urinary sediment (after centrifuging the urine, evaluate the sediment using a microscope)

・Red blood cells (urinary tract bleeding)

・White blood cells (urinary tract inflammation)

・Epithelial cells (tumor is suspected if abnormal cells are seen)

・Crystals (strobite crystals, calcium oxalate crystals, etc.)

・Bacteria (urinary tract infection)

You can find out information such as.

What is the timing of the test?

If you are unwell and have symptoms, we recommend that you have all tests done to understand your general condition. However, if your young dog has just one loose stool and is healthy and has a good appetite, it may not be necessary to perform all the tests. If your dog shows symptoms, check with your veterinarian to see if testing is necessary.

When it comes to health checkups, check your health once a year when you're young, and twice a year (ideally four times a year) when you're older.

The data you save when you are healthy can be compared with test results from when you are sick or when you are old, which can lead to early detection of even the slightest abnormalities.

We recommend that you do a health checkup blood test at the same time as your heartworm test in the spring, or you can decide to do it every year in your birthday month so you don't forget to do it.

Blood tests and urine tests can be used not only when you are sick, but also when you are healthy, keeping data on your health can lead to early detection of diseases. Just like us humans, pets should have a health checkup at a veterinary hospital once a year.