Blood tests are an important diagnostic tool for veterinarians to evaluate the overall health of your cat and diagnose problems as they arise. Blood tests can also be used to monitor the response to treatment with previously diagnosed conditions, such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, chronic kidney disease, and many more. Southpointe Pet Hospital makes use of up-to-date, in-house diagnostics as well as sending out more specialized testing to a commercial laboratory.
Why are blood tests important for my cat’s health?
Cats are very good at hiding illness, which can make it difficult to catch diseases early in their course when treatment would be more effective. Therefore, blood testing is a simple and helpful way for veterinarians to assess your cat’s internal health, including their immune system and internal organ function. Blood testing can also be used as a baseline for comparison in the future. Trends may be identified, which could indicate early changes in organ function as your cat ages. Senior cats (particularly over 12 years old) benefit especially from regular testing to identify these changes over time.
How long does it take to get blood test results?
Some blood and urine testing can be performed at our in-house laboratory, and results are typically available within 24 hours. More specialized testing may be sent out to a commercial laboratory, and the turnaround time can vary depending on the testing requested. Our team will advise you on when you can expect to hear about your pet’s results.
How should I prepare my cat for their blood tests?
Trips to see the veterinarian can be stressful for some cats. Ensure they are used to their carrier already to minimize any stress associated with its use. Consider pheromone products or natural calming supplements to help ease their anxiety. Some cats may even benefit from oral sedation given at home before their appointment. Discuss your cat’s needs with our team, and we can best advise you on how to minimize any stress associated with their sample collection. Keep in mind that your anxiety level does affect your animal. If you can remain calm in the situation, it will help your cat to remain calm too.
How often should blood tests be done?
Annual bloodwork is recommended for senior cats, especially after 12 years of age. Chronic kidney disease and hyperthyroidism can be identified years earlier with routine blood and urine monitoring, rather than monitoring for overt clinical signs. Early intervention in these and other chronic diseases improves long-term prognosis dramatically. Monitoring tests for cats with known health concerns may be recommended more frequently and would be discussed with our veterinarians on a case by case basis.