Blood Tests – What Did You Just Say?
The overall lab test for animals is like blood work for humans. It will tell you just about any info you want on organs and how well they are functioning. The blood test acronyms are rather mystifying when you just see letter abbreviations.
CBC – (Complete Blood Count) The most common blood test. It analyzes the three major types of cells in blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The CBC counts these cells, measures hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying molecule in red blood cells), estimates the red cells’ volume, and sorts the white blood cells into subtypes. AKA, are you healthy
RBC – (Red Blood Cells) Responsible for carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body. In a low count, it could indicate hemorrhage, parasites, bone marrow disease, folic acid deficiency.
WBC – (White blood cells) Everyone’s main defense of fighting infection. Low levels can suggest high infections or chemical poisoning. Low levels can suggest bacterial infection, blood disorders or a whole slew of other stuff which you then hav to go back to the other blood work to narrow down.
HCT – Hematocrit or PCV (Packed Cell Volume) — not to be confused and transposed to PVC the plastic pipe. Provides information on the amount of red blood cells present in the blood. Low levels can indicate anemia from hemorrhage, parasites, nutritional deficiencies or liver disease.
Hb – (Hemoglobin) Carries oxygen to the blood. Low levels might indicate hemorrhage, anemia, and iron deficiency.
Reticulocytes – Red blood cells stuck in adolescence, i.e. not growing up. Decreased count can sometimes be associated with anemia. Increased count could be associated with hemorrhage or hemolytic anemia.
PLT – (Platelets) The major players in blood clotting. Decreased numbers can indicate bone marrow depression, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, systemic lupus, severe hemorrhage or intravascular coagulation. Increased numbers may be associated with fracture or blood vessel injury.
MCV – Measures the average size of the RBC.
L/M – (Lymphocytes) These white cell babies grow like wildfire when there is a chronic infection.
CA – (Calcium) Blood calcium levels can be associated by diet, hormone levels and blood protein levels. Decreased levels can be associated with pancreatic disorder. Increased levels can be suggestive of tumors or possibly kidney disease.
PHOS – (Phosphorus) As with humans, this level can be caused by kidney issues, diet and others. Decreased levels can be issues with malnutrition, the body not able to absorb foods correctly or certain malignancies. A high count can indicate kidney failure.
Electrolytes – Necessary minerals needed and consist of chloride, sodium and potassium Gatorade is what athletes chug down and people should take with the flue if there is vomiting or diarrhea . Can also indicate a cardiovascular issue.
CHOL– (Cholesterol) Too low usually indicates an overactive thyroid gland, intestinal issues. High levels can have many possibilities including under active thyroid, liver disease, and kidney disease.
ALT – (Alanine aminotransferase) An enzyme that is found primarily in the liver and is released into the bloodstream when there is liver damage
ALKP – (Alkaline Phosphatase) An enzyme made in the liver and bone. High levels indicate bone disease, liver disease and low levels can be seen in bone deformities.
TBIL – (Total Bilirubin) Bilirubin is produced when the liver breaks down hemoglobin, remember from above the red blood cells that carry oxygen.
TP – (Total Protein) This is the amount of protein in the blood. There are two major types of proteins in the blood: albumin and globulin. It helps take a look at liver and kidney function.
GLOB – (Globulins) – Decreased levels indicate problems with antibodies, immunodeficiency viruses or risk of infectious disease. Increased levels may indicate stress, dehydration or blood cancer, allergies, liver disease, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes.
ALB – (Albumin) This is a protein synthesized in the liver a commonly known as any protein that is soluble in water. It has many functions but simply maintains the pressure that causes fluid to remain in the blood stream instead of leaking out into the tissues.
BUN – (Blood Urea Nitrogen) This is produced by the liver and excreted by the kidneys. Another liver and kidney profile to see if both are working correctly.
CREA – (Creatinine) This is a protein produced by muscle and released into the blood and a major kidney tester.
GLU – (Blood Glucose) This is the sugar fix of the blood. The blood makes this from foods, proteins and fats but mostly from carbohydrates. It is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. This is where you would find diabetes, hyperglycemia or HYPOglycemia.
AMYL – (Amylase) An enzyme produced in the pancreas and salivary glands that helps in the digestion of starches. Elevation of blood amylase is common in pancreatitis. Elevated blood levels can indicate pancreatic and/or kidney disease.
UA – (Urinalysis) Because urine removes toxins and excess liquids from the body it can be helpful in finding many problems including metabolic disorders or kidney disease
(Note on author: The advantage of opinions is they cannot be wrong and they cannot be right. Consequently all written material is strictly my opinion based on over 30 years working with animals. I do not believe in “experts” for one finds out quickly that there is always someone who is smarter, better educated and a wider life experience. If I was an expert and knew everything I would opt to be dictator of the world, not working with animals. I do not believe in statistics since for every con argument there are equal pro arguments to challenge those statistics. Consequently rarely, if ever do I use them.)
All information is copyright by Mimi Davis d.b.a. Curbside Clippers. (Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved) Any use must have prior permission.