The Complete Blood Count:
Blood tests help us determine causes of illnesses accurately, safely and quickly and let us monitor the progress of medical treatments. The most common blood test is called the Complete Blood Count or CBC, and it gives your veterinarian information on hydration status, anemia, infection, clotting factors, and the immune system's ability to respond to illness. This test is critical for pets with fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, pale gums, or loss of appetite.
This test requires a small sample of blood. The nurse will bring your pet to the back treatment area of the hospital where other nurses are available to help hold and calm your pet during the blood draw. Your pet will be brought back to you momentarily. Of course, if you want to be present during any treatment you are welcome.
The CBC gives the following information:
Hematocrit (HCT): measures the percentage of red cells to assess for hydration and anemia.
Hemoglobin and Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (Hb and MCHC): measures hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying pigment of red blood cells. Important in the diagnosis of anemia.
White Blood Cells Count (WBC): measures the body's immune cells, increases or decreases indicate certain diseases or infections.
Granulocytes and Lymphocytes (GRANS and L/M): are specific types of white blood cells. Increases in these cells may be indicative of certain types of cancer, as well as viral and bacterial infections.
Eosinophils (EOS): are specific types of white blood cells. An elevation in EOS may indicate allergic or parasitic conditions.
Platelet Count (PLT): measures cells that help stop bleeding by forming clots.
Reticulocytes (RETICS): are immature red blood cells. The presence of RETICS may be indicative of certain blood disorders.
Total Protein (TP): tells the total protein in blood serum which helps us understand how the kidneys and liver are functioning, and in some cases points to certain serious blood disorders.
Packed Cell Volume (PCV): gives us the volume of red blood cells in blood serum. An abnormal PCV value can indicate anemia and other blood disorders.
The Complete Blood Count may be done in house or sent to a veterinary lab with next day results. If you have any questions about the test, please let us know. We are more than happy to answer any questions or help you with concerns!