In addition to a thorough history and physical exam, blood work is often an important component of a veterinary visit for your feline friend. When the results come in, however, you may wonder—what do these values mean? Does an abnormal result mean that my cat is sick?
The following article will discuss indications for blood work in cats, common blood tests performed, and what certain values may tell your veterinarian about your feline’s overall health.
Why Might Cats Need Blood Work?
Blood work is commonly performed in cats for a variety of reasons, including:
Common Blood Tests for Felines
From parasitic infections, to heart disease, and everywhere in between, a plethora of feline medical conditions can be diagnosed with the aid of blood work. Many blood tests can be performed for same-day results in your veterinary clinic. However, some require samples that are sent to reference laboratories, and may take several days to receive results.
While an extensive array of blood tests exists for felines, commonly performed blood tests that may be recommended for your cat include the following:
Specific Laboratory Values and What They Mean
Many blood tests, such as those for FeLV/FIV or heartworm, provide a relatively straightforward “positive” or “negative” result.
The values on tests, such as the CBC or blood chemistry panel, however, require further interpretation by your veterinarian to determine what an abnormal result means. Blood work values will be evaluated as high, low, or normal in relation to a reference range specific to the machine that is performing the testing.
If your cat has had blood work performed, the following values found in a CBC and blood chemistry panel will likely be evaluated:
Blood chemistry panel
In summary, blood work is an incredibly helpful tool for evaluating the health of your cat, and may be recommended for your pet in a variety of situations. If your cat has had lab work performed, you can expect that your veterinarian will evaluate their blood work results, along with their history and physical exam findings, to determine whether abnormal results require further evaluation or treatment.
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