As a human, you’re probably used to getting your blood taken. Your doctor may ask you to get blood work done every few years or so just to check in and see how everything is going within your body. Similar to how we get blood work done, an annual blood test is very important our pets as well. This may seem a little strange, but it’s actually a crucial part of their health and well-being. Here’s what you need to know about blood work for pets.

Why A Blood Test?

Even if your pet seems happy and healthy, there may be something going on inside that you wouldn’t even know about. Unfortunately, sometimes the issues that are left undetected can become serious or even life-threatening. For example, it’s estimated that 80% of dogs and 70% cats show signs of dental disease by age three, leading to abscesses, loose teeth, and chronic pain. While they may be able to show issues with their teeth, they can’t tell us what’s going on inside. Early detection can help treat any potentially life-threatening diseases. The tests can pinpoint problems and even help figure out if your pet is able to take certain medication or not. You can easily get these test done at an animal hospital or your vet.

What Does A Blood Test Do?

There are a few specific things that animal hospitals and vets will conduct a blood test to check. The standard test will look for their complete blood cell count, their blood chemistry profile, and will detect if they have heartworm disease. The complete blood cell count will determine how many and what type of blood cells are in your pet’s blood. The blood chemistry profile can determine how their organs are functioning. For example, if they have a low red blood cell count, it’s possible they have anemia. Among other things, it will also screen for an endocrine disorder.

Many people who have older pets question if their cat or dog even needs blood work done. However, it’s important to know that older animals are actually at higher risks of chronic conditions than younger animals, such as liver disease or kidney disease. You never know what your pet is dealing with on the inside, so it’s important to take all the necessary steps to try and prevent or catch any problems before they get worse.

Getting your pet’s blood tested on an annual basis is extremely important for many reasons. Detecting issues early can prevent veterinary emergency visits or visits to emergency animal hospitals. To schedule your appointment today, reach out to your vet or your local animal hospital.