Blood Chemistry Profile and CBC
At times when your companion animal is ill, and when they reach middle age (5-7 years old) a blood sample will be taken to aid with diagnosis and prognosis. The blood sample is analyzed by a medical laboratory to find levels of certain enzymes, electrolytes, and other factors. If these levels are above or below their normal ranges, they may indicate a disease process. A complete blood count (CBC) may also be run on part of the sample to check for anemia, infection, and abnormalities.
The blood chemistry profile, also called a "SMAC," provides information on kidney and liver function, sugar or glucose level (pancreas), and other factors that indicate metabolic or nutritional disorders. Early signs of kidney failure will warn of a need to reduce protein levels in the diet. High sugar values may confirm diabetes mellitus, and a need to start insulin therapy. Liver enzymes above the normal range may be due to inflammation, infection, or degeneration, and steps can be taken to arrest or reverse the problem. There are also several blood factors that indicate heart disease.
In addition to the SMAC and CBC, there are other specific tests that can be run on the blood sample. Amylase and lipase levels are also indicators of pancreas function and if inadequate can cause digestive disorders. A thyroid profile can reveal hypo- or hyperthyroidism, both of which are treatable. The presence of several infectious diseases can also be checked through a blood sample.
Many problems that develop in our pets can benefit from special prescription diets. Dr. Jack Mara, Huntington, NY, says, "There is no disease that does not depend on nutrition in its treatment." Hills Prescription DietsÂ® have helped many pets live longer lives by adjusting the nutrition to minimize disease processes. They are available only through veterinarians.
The initial expense of doing a blood profile may prevent much higher costs down the road, and can definitely help to discover and treat potential problems before they get out of hand. Your pet will benefit and feel better on a Prescription DietÂ® designed for its problem.