General Pet Advice
Pet blood tests – everything you need to know
As your veterinary practice, our aim is to support you and your pet to help them live happier, healthier lives. A clinical examination with our vets is a great way to determine how healthy your pet is, but sometimes we require confirmation of a suspected disease or condition by looking at your pet's blood results.
Blood tests at Spinney Vets allow us to capture an overview of how your pet's internal organs are functioning, allowing a clearer picture of your pet's overall health and provide us with key indications for many organs and functions. Our state-of-the-art laboratory, which we house in our practice, allows us to obtain rapid test results for your pet blood tests
Did you know?
A pet may show no symptoms until 70-75% of their kidney function has been lost.
Blood testing can be extremely beneficial in monitoring the function of your pet’s internal organs, allowing us to identify problems in their earliest stages. This gives us the opportunity to intervene early with a much better likelihood of success in managing the problem.
What happens during a pet blood test?
- your pet is taken to a clinical area where our team position your pet and reassure them whilst the sampling takes place
- a patch of fur will be shaved from the area where the blood sample will be taken. The most common areas are the front legs, neck, or occasionally the hind legs.
- our trained staff will gently hold your pet and raise the vein whilst the vet or nurse takes the sample
Sampling can usually be done within a few minutes; however, anxious or stressed pets can take a little longer.
Where possible, we may allow you to accompany your pet, but having owners present occasionally makes pets less likely to sit still. If we feel your pet is becoming too stressed, we may recommend a mild sedative for them.
Pets have quite delicate skin, so shaving of fur may occasionally cause some skin irritation, similar to a shaving rash. If this occurs, we will apply a cream to soothe the irritation.
What blood tests are normally carried out?
Our practice is equipped with a high specification blood analyser. The following panel of tests is run on a small blood sample from your pet.
It is very important that pet blood test results are interpreted in conjunction with the findings of a thorough veterinary examination alongside any other recommended diagnostic tests. A result which sits outside the normal reference range may not necessarily indicate a significant problem and this is where our training and professional judgement is required.
We are always happy when we can report normal test results. The results are stored on your pet's file, and we use these results to keep as a baseline reference range for any future blood work your pet may need.
Partnership with our external laboratory:
We work on a daily basis with our external laboratory which runs more rarely used tests and those which require expensive equipment or unusual reagents; this would include tests to assess accurate levels of particular hormones, for example. They also have specialist staff whom we can consult to help us in complex cases, ensuring we can make the best recommendation for the treatment of our patients.
Samples are collected and delivered to the laboratory by overnight courier. Depending on the complexity of the test, many of the results are received on the following weekday whilst other rare and complex tests may take longer. For external laboratory tests, as well as those run on our own ‘in-house’ machines, we will advise you on how soon to expect a call regarding results during the blood sampling appointment.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the surgery for more information.