WARNING

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Close [x]

Follow Us

Veterinarian

When your veterinarian orders blood work, he or she will be looking at certain values to give a picture of your pets overall health or for potential health problems.  

Our Emergency Animal Hospitals perform in-house blood test routinely to assist in evaluating system organ function, electrolyte status, hormone levels and many more.  We have compiled brief explanations of some of the more commonly performed blood tests. 

Blood Chemistries:  These values are important in evaluating your pets health in all life stages; during times of illness, monitoring function on long term medications and prior to administration of anesthesia. 

ALB

Albumin

Serum protein that helps evaluate hydration, intestinal inflammation, hemorrhage, liver and kidney functions.

ALKP

Alkaline phosphatase

Protein that is related to liver damage, Cushing’s disease, steroids and active bone growth in young pets.

ALT

Alanine Aminotransferase

Indicator of active liver disease.  Does not indicate cause or reversibility. 

AMYL

Amylase

Associated with pancreatitis or kidney disease, especially if elevated.

AST

Aspartate aminotransferase

Increased levels can indicate liver or skeletal muscle necrosis/damage.

BUN

Blood urea nitrogen

Kidney function property.  Increased level of nitrogenous waste products (proteins) is called azotemia.  Kidney, liver and heart disease, urethral obstruction, shock and dehydration can cause abnormalities.

Ca

Calcium

Can be an indicator of tumors, hyperparathyroidism, kidney disease and low albumin.  Abnormalities can be a sign of a wide variety of conditions.

CHOL

Cholesterol

Used to help diagnose hyperthyroidism, liver disease, Cushing’s disease, diabetes mellitus, etc.

Cl

Chloride

An electrolyte that can be lost with vomiting and Addison’s disease.  Increased values often indicate dehydration.

CREA

Creatinine

Kidney function property.  Helps distinguish between kidney and non-kidney causes for elevated BUN.

GGT

Gamma glutamyl transferase

Liver enzyme which indicates disease or cortisol excess.

GLOB

Globulin

Blood protein that often is increased with chronic inflammation and certain disease states.

GLU

Glucose

Known as “blood sugar”.  Greatly elevated levels can be secondary to stress and may indicate diabetes mellitus.  Low levels can cause collapse or coma. 

K

Potassium

An electrolyte that is lost with diarrhea, vomiting or excessive urination.  Increased levels are associated with kidney failure, Addison’s disease, dehydration and urethral obstruction.  Elevations can lead to cardiac arrest.  Decreased levels may cause muscle weakness, diabetes, hyperthyroid, and cardiac arrhythmias. 

LIP

Lipase

A pancreatic enzyme that may indicate pancreatitis or abnormal blood fats.

Na

Sodium

An electrolyte lost with diarrhea, vomiting, kidney disease and

Addison’s disease.  Can also assist in indicating hydration status.

PHOS

Phosphorous

Elevated levels are associated with, diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism and bleeding disorders. May cause yellowing of membranes.

TBIL

Total bilirubin

Elevated levels may indicate liver or hemolytic disease.  Aids in diagnosing anemia and bile duct disorders.

TP

Total protein

Indicates hydration status and can be additional information in liver, kidney, infectious diseases and more.

Blood levels for electrolytes sodium (Na), chloride (Cl) and potassium (K) may be run separately, especially when these levels need to be evaluated over a period of time.  Electrolyte levels may be affected by hydration status and toxicities.

Complete Blood Count (CBC): the complete blood count is a common test performed on both pets and people.  It can give invaluable information about hydration status, anemia, the body’s ability to form blood clots, infection and the ability to mount an immune response.  A CBC is essential in pets with fevers, vomiting and/or diarrhea, weakness or pale gums, not eating, etc.  The CBC is useful in pre-surgical evaluation to detect bleeding disorders or other abnormalities.

HCT

Hematocrit

Measures the amount of red blood cells.  Detects anemia and dehydration.

HGB, MCHC

Hemoglobin, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration

Oxygen-carrying pigment of red blood cells.

WBC

White blood cells

Basic immune cells of the body.  Increase or decrease can indicate certain diseases or infections.

GRANS, L/M

Granulocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes

These are specific types of white blood cells.

EOS

Eosinophils

White blood cells that can indicate allergic or parasitic conditions.

PLT

Platelets

Cells that allow the body to form blood clots and stop bleeding.