Epping Road Veterinary Hospital

120 Epping Road
Exeter, NH 03833



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The Basics Regarding Blood Screening

CBC (Complete Blood Count)

This is a measure of the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelet count.  Red blood cells carry oxygen to the organs.  White blood cells are responsible for fighting infection. Blood platelets are cells necessary for proper blood clotting function. The report will also provide a count of all the individual cell types in your pet’s blood sample. This will allow our doctors to determine information such as:

  • Reduced Red Blood Cell count- anemia.
  • Increased White Blood Cell count – often indicates infection.
  • Reduced White Blood Cell count – can be due to viral infections or stress
  • Reduced platelets – can be due to sample handling or an actual reduction for a variety of reasons.  Very low platelets will place your pet at risk of bleeding.
  • Elevated protein – can indicate dehydration.
  • Reduced protein – can be due to hemorrhage, lack of production, of loss through the GI tract or kidneys.
  • Elevated percentage of red blood cells - can be due to dehydration.

Chemistry Profile

The blood chemistry panel will provide information about organ status (liver, kidneys, and pancreas), blood protein, blood sugar and electrolytes.

T4 (Thyroid Level)

The thyroid level is added to the chemistry panel for both cats and dogs over the age of 7 years and sometimes in younger pets if thyroid dysfunction is suspect. Cats tend to develop overactive thyroid function (hyperthyroidism) and dogs tend to develop low thyroid function (hypothyroidism).  A few common signs of hypothyroidism are dry skin, thin hair coat, dry coat, lethargy and weight gain. Hyperthyroidism symptoms may include weight loss, increased appetite/thirst, restlessness, increased heart rate, vomiting, or diarrhea. 

Additional screenings may be discussed during your pet's medical examination or based on the findings of their blood screenings.

For a full list of our laboratory screening recommendations based on age and species, please see our screenings page.