Cats are excellent at disguising problems. In early stages of a disease, they may not exhibit and show signs of disease. Blood testing allows us to detect illnesses as early as possible, so we can prevent them from progressing and to treat effectively for a better prognosis.
Why does my cat need a blood screen?
Cats can’t tell us how they feel, so regular blood work is one of the best ways to identify potential health problems even before your cat shows any symptoms. We are screening your cat’s organ function and checking the cells circulating in his/her bloodstream. This screen is known as CBC/CHEM which stands for complete blood count and chemistry.
How long does it take to get blood test results?
At Centennial Animal Hospital, we are a full-service facility and have lab equipment on site. This allows us to get lab results in approximately 30-60 minutes. Additional tests that are referred out may take 2-3 days or even a week.
What precautions should I take before a blood test?
Your cat should ideally be fasted (no food) for approximately 8 hours and be well hydrated. This is not crucial with some blood tests, but you can always call us if you’re unsure. Urine is often collected in conjunction with blood tests so preventing access to the litter box a few hours ahead can help ensure urine is available.
How often should blood tests be done?
This depends on the age and health status of your cat. Blood tests should always be performed before any procedure that requires general anesthesia, if your cat is showing signs of illness, and every 6-12 months as they start to age. Blood work may be done more frequently if we are monitoring certain health conditions or your cat is taking certain medications.
Do you also do urinalysis and biopsy?
Yes, we offer our clients both of these tests. Urinalysis is a helpful test to evaluate several organ systems of your cat. A urinalysis will also be needed to evaluate illnesses in your cat. Some of the symptoms that may indicate a urinalysis is warranted include:
- Blood in the urine
- Straining to urinate
- Urinating outside the litter box
- Increased frequency of urination
- Excessive thirst
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
A biopsy is a surgical procedure in which a tissue sample is removed from the body and examined under a microscope. In some cases, only a small sample is removed for analysis. In other cases, several samples may be removed, or an entire growth may be removed and examined. The tissue removed during a biopsy is examined under a microscope by a veterinary pathologist, a specialist in examining cells and tissue samples.