How Often Does My Pet Need Bloodwork Done?

Jackie Pulver,  DVM Dr. Jackie Pulver

 

As veterinarians, there are many times in a pet’s life that blood work is needed.  The first time blood work is usually performed on an animal is when they have their spay or neuter surgery.  We perform blood work at this time to make certain there are no underlying issues that may affect their ability to safely undergo anesthesia.

Golden Retriever puppyIf you pet becomes ill, many times we will advise you to check blood work.  This is to allow us to better find the underlying cause of the change in your pet. Many times the blood work will better allow us to direct treatment by identifying specific issues that need to be addressed either with medication, surgery, or supportive care.

If your pet has been diagnosed with a chronic illness, many times monitoring blood work will need to be performed.  Dogs diagnosed with diabetes, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, seizures, and hypothyroidism will need several visits that include blood work during the diagnosis of theses diseases and in starting them on the appropriate medications. Once these pets are on appropriate doses of their medications, they will only need blood work a few times a year to make sure they continue to be well regulated.  Your vet will let you know the best schedule for your pet. Cats diagnosed with diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease will need several initial visits 99059361-choose-cat-litter-632x475during the diagnosis and starting of their medications.  Once stabilized on their specific medications and treatments,  blood work will only need to be performed a few times yearly for monitoring.  Your vet will let you know the schedule that is best for your pet.

Healthy adult dogs and cats need and annual exam by their vet.  At that time, a physical exam and history of events from the past year will be obtained.  After discussing the physical exam findings with you, your vet will determine if your pet will need any blood work to further monitor their well-being.

foster-cat-and-dogGeriatric pets should have a biannual exam, and they should have blood work performed annually or biannually. This is allowing us to stay abreast of changes in our aging pets, and give appropriate treatments to maintain their comfort in the golden years. Many of our older patients are also on chronic NSAIDS for arthritis, and they need biannual blood work to monitor the kidney and liver function.