Blood tests

Like humans, blood tests in animals are conducted for a variety of reasons, including:

  • A general health check, particularly for older animals
  • A pre-anaesthetic screen for those about to undergo an anaesthetic
  • A means to help diagnose an underlying problem in sick and unwell patients
  • Monitoring animals that have a chronic or ongoing medical conditions such as diabetes, Cushings disease, epilepsy or hyperthyroidism
  • Screening for a particular disease or condition.

For blood tests relating to a particular condition, fasting of the pet for 8–12 hours beforehand is usually recommended.

For animals having their medication monitored such as those on phenobarbitone (epilepsy medication) it is important we take a sample of blood just prior to the next dose of medication.

One notable exception is for animals receiving treatment (trilostane/ vetoryl®) for Cushings disease. The appointment should be made for between 4–6 hours after the last dose. For most dogs this would be around lunchtime following the morning dose of medication.

We use a variety of blood test methods to help diagnose and monitor our patients. Some tests, including heartworm tests, parvovirus tests or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) tests, can be run in-house and generally take 5–20 minutes.

We also run in-house biochemistry and haematology tests to rule out any underlying conditions before a pet undergoes an anaesthetic or if we need urgent results.

Other blood tests are sent to the veterinary pathology laboratory which has a turn-around of between 12–24 hours, or longer if it is an unusual test.

The vet looking after your pet will advise on what the expected turnaround time will be. We endeavour to report back to you as soon as the results of any blood tests are ready.

Lort Smith