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When Should Dogs Get Blood Work Done?

Fort Lauderdale dog blood work

The Benefits of Fort Lauderdale Dog Blood Work

As a dog owner, you might wonder when you should get blood work done for your pet and whether doing so is necessary. Most veterinarians, including Dr. Cotto and Dr. Cutrone at Family Pet Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, recommend dogs should get blood work done at least annually. Blood work for your dog can help to ensure your pet remains healthy and safe. Here are the reasons why you should schedule your dog for Fort Lauderdale blood work and how often it should be performed.

While most pet owners know that dogs should receive annual vaccinations and physicals, they also should have comprehensive Fort Lauderdale blood work tests performed. Blood tests help to check for underlying issues before they can develop into serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. A dog might appear to be healthy but have some slowly developing problems that can’t be discovered without testing.

When Our Fort Lauderdale Animal Hospital Recommends Blood Work For Your Dog


1. First Veterinarian Appointment

Your dog should get blood work done as a puppy during its first visit to your veterinarian at Family Pet Medical Center. Early blood work performed on your dog can provide your vet with a baseline for reference. While these conditions are rare in puppies, an early blood test can also show whether your puppy has markers of heart, liver, or kidney disease.

2. Before Surgery

If your dog is scheduled for surgery, your veterinarian will likely recommend blood work before the procedure. A pre-surgical blood test helps your veterinarian determine the proper dose of anesthesia to use for your dog. Blood work will also show whether your dog might be at risk for clotting. Since surgery is a major procedure, veterinarians take precautions to ensure your pet’s safety.

3. During Wellness Exams for Senior Dogs

Unfortunately, the lifespan of a dog is much shorter than that of humans. As your dog ages, we recommend regular geriatric wellness exams with blood work. These tests show whether your dog might have developed any abnormalities so that they can be addressed to promote and maintain your dog’s health for as long as possible.

4. Annual Wellness Exams

The veterinarians at Fort Lauderdale animal hospital Family Pet Medical Center recommend annual blood work for your dog as a part of the annual wellness exam. Blood tests are recommended so that we can obtain a thorough picture of your dog’s health. They also help us spot any changes that might not be visible but need to be addressed.

How Blood Tests Work

Blood work reveals important information about your dog’s health. Blood tests might include a complete blood count (CBC) or blood chemistries.

What CBC Testing Shows

A CBC test will evaluate your dog’s red blood cell count, white blood cell count, platelet levels, and mean blood cell volume (MCV). The MCV and red blood cell count can determine whether your dog might be dehydrated, anemic, or has a blood clotting issue.

The white blood cell count can help to determine the state of your dog’s immune system. If the white cell count is too low or too high, it could indicate your dog is suffering from an infection, inflammation, or disease. If your dog’s platelet levels are too high, this could indicate your dog is at risk of the formation of blood clots.

What Blood Chemistry Testing Shows

A blood serum or chemistry test helps your veterinarian determine whether your dog has an electrolyte or hormone balance. It also reveals how your dog’s organs are functioning. A blood chemistry test can check whether your dog is in a normal range for the following:

  • Sodium (low levels indicate possible dehydration)
  • Calcium (high or low levels indicate a variety of different diseases, including kidney disease or cancer)
  • Potassium (high levels can indicate dehydration, kidney failure, or a risk of a cardiac event)
  • Chloride (high levels can indicate Addison’s disease or dehydration)
  • Phosphorous (high levels can indicate kidney failure)
  • Cholesterol (high or low levels can indicate the presence of diabetes, liver disease, or hypothyroidism)
  • Lipase (high levels can indicate pancreatitis)
  • Cortisol (the levels can determine whether your dog’s hormones are imbalanced
  • Glucose (high levels can indicate diabetes while low levels can indicate a risk of seizures, collapse, or coma)

This isn’t an exhaustive list but simply indicates some of the factors your veterinarian might look at when assessing the health of your dog. Fort Lauderdale blood work for your dog at Family Pet Medical Center is good preventative medicine to promote your dog’s happy, healthy, and long life.

Schedule Blood Work For Your Dog at Our Fort Lauderdale Animal Hospital

You are the most knowledgeable person about your dog. If you see that your dog is displaying unusual behaviors despite appearing to be in overall good health, blood work can help you determine whether your dog might need further care. If your dog is experiencing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, lethargy, or fever, you should contact Family Pet Medical Center immediately at (954) 953-4808.

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