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Pet Emergency Blood Work

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Bloodwork In Emergency Setting For Vets

Emergency Blood Work
We take urgent care walk in's! 

Emergency blood work is typically one of the first steps your veterinarian will take to diagnose what is going on with your furry family member. There is so much information that your veterinarian can access from blood work. Blood work will give us the information about the state of the liver, kidneys, and other organ systems so we can render the appropriate treatment and or therapy.

Some of the common information that emergency blood work will tell us will be;


RBC, HGB and Hematocrit- These values can tell us if a patient is anemic or if a patient Is dehydrated. This can decipher between a patient having a blood- borne parasite or a primary or secondary anemia from a parasite or bleeding mass.

Neutrophils/ WBC- Neutrophils are the first line of defense when a patient has an infection or an inflammatory process.

Eosinophils- Can be increased when a patient has a parasitic infection.

Lymphocytes- These cells are also inflammatory cells that can indicate viral infection or neoplasia.

Platelets- Platelets help with clotting. There are also clotting dependent factors only made by the liver, so this information can give us an idea about liver function and hemostasis.

Reticulocytes- are immature red blood cells that will increase if the body is trying to make new RBC. This should happen when there is anemia present.

Monocytes – are immature macrophages. Macrophages usually come to the line of defense in the latter part of infection and inflammation. The job of these cells is to engulf debris and inflammatory by products.


Glucose- Glucose levels that are abnormally high can indicate diabetes. This is because without insulin, glucose cannot enter the cell. Untreated diabetes can result in a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis.

Albumin- Proteins such as albumin (keep fluids within your vessels) are produced by the liver. These proteins can tell your veterinarian if there is a liver function problem or a disease that causes protein loss (PLE, PLN)

Globulin- indicates chronic inflammation or infection.

ALP- ALP is found in bone (can increase due to bone damage) can be increased when a patient is stressed or has liver disease/ damage. An endocrine disease (ex Cushing’s) can also cause an increase in this enzyme and is usually elevated 8- % of the time when a patient has adrenal gland disease.

ALT- ALT is an enzyme only found in the liver. (Liver specific). This is a cytosolic enzyme that can increase when there is liver damage due to a toxin, systemic disease or even cancer.

BUN/ Creatinine- These are by products made by the body that are usually 100 % cleared by the kidneys. An increase in these can indicate kidney damage. When there is over 75% loss of kidney function, BUN/ Creatinine will increase.

BUN is also a liver function enzyme. If depleted, this could indicate that the liver is not functioning properly.

SDMA- SDMA is a marker for the kidneys that indicates about 25% loss of kidney function. Toxins, Primary kidney disease are a couple of things that can lead to a swift increase in this enzyme.

GGT- can indicator of bile duct obstruction/cholestasis

AST- an increase in this enzyme can indicate muscle damage.

Electrolytes (Sodium, Potassium, Chloride Phosphorus)- electrolytes are necessary for the functioning of many of the pumps in our bodies (Ex insulin, H/K pump), muscle contraction (all muscles, including the heart) and even electrical conduction of the heart (NA, K, Calcium). Electrolytes can also tell us if a patient has an endocrine disorder that needs immediate treatment such as Addison’s. Electrolytes are depleted when a patient is having ongoing diarrhea and emesis. This being said, your veterinarian may want to replenish these electrolytes depending on the state of the patient. These electrolytes are often given in the form of fluid therapy.

Amylase/ Lipase- increases in this enzyme can indicate the patient has a pancreatitis. A CPL or FPL tests for a specific enzyme that is increased in dogs can cats that have pancreatitis.

Cholesterol- is evaluated with most emergency panels.

TCO2- is important for evaluating acid base balance. It is important for our patients to maintain a homeostatic internal environment. Some conditions (ex; respiratory dz, metabolic dz) that can cause either a metabolic acidosis/ alkalosis or a respiratory acidosis/ alkalosis.

With obtaining emergency blood work, the veterinarian will be able to implement treatment appropriately and efficiently specifically for your furry family member.

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West Bloomfield's Vet Clinic

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Animal Hospital Maple Orchard
5620 W Maple Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322