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Pro-Active Cat Care

Why Blood Tests are Important

 

 

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Blood test reports serve a critical purpose. They're the primary (and often only) means of determining what's going on inside Fluffy. (There are other tests, of course, but we don't want to build Rome in a day, do we?) For reasons dating back to BC, the translation of medical mysteries was done using words with Latin roots. Dunno why... maybe Latin was the first language, who knows. But this practice is still practiced today in most medical practices. (huh?) And if Doc can't mysticize us with quips from a 3,000 year old language, he'll abbreviate. No matter. We've evolved intellectually by leaps and bounds: we can tie our own shoes now, we've learned that dinosaur meat is less nutritious than a good Prime Rib, and we're about to show Doc that Fluffy's blood test report won't be quite the mystery he was hoping for. At the end of this diatribe -er, document- you'll be directed to a web page created just for you; a listing of typical blood test values and what they mean in language we can understand... Unless you only speak Latin.

The architecture of blood has components that must be maintained at specific levels, whether through manufacture by other organs, through ingestion, or other external means (such as injection). Conversely, the job of other organs is to remove (excrete) unwanted or excess amounts of certain other components. As you can see, blood is a finely-tuned balance of exacting levels of a number of components... I'm reminded of my world-class spaghetti sauce (pinch of this, dash of that).

Obviously, a blood test tells us what's going on in the blood. Which, in turn, tells us what's going on with internal organs; how well they are (or are not) performing. By determining values of specific components (proteins, enzymes, minerals, electrolytes, acids... and a host of other neat things) we can identify acute and chronic conditions, and in most cases we can "adjust" those deficiencies or excesses. Which, of course, ties in with what you read last week about ailments and conditions... our goal is to fix Fluffy if she needs fixin', and one way we do that is by adjusting the component architecture of the blood racing around inside her tiny tubes and organs. Varoom!

Blood values for a normal, healthy cat will be within a
min-max "range", and ideally our goal is to keep those values about mid-range. However... those values can be slightly higher or lower than normal for a number of reasons. To name a few:

  • Diet
  • Eating (or not eating) just prior to testing
  • Stress
  • Medications
  • Existing medical condition
  • Altitude in which the cat lives and testing is performed
  • Ambient temperature
  • Species of cat
  • Fluffy's weight
  • Fluffy's age

Vets typically don't give much credence to minor fluctuations of a specific value, unless it coincides with other observations or diagnostic beliefs, but if a value is out of range (or nearly so) a re-test is usually performed several days later to confirm whether it was a "blip" caused by any of the above, or whether a problem is developing. What they do watch for, however, are trends that head steadily toward a range limit; these are generally indicative of the onset of a condition or a problem.


So... armed with Fluffy's befuzzling blood test report, you can now go to the link below, learn a thing or two about those mystifying digits, and have fun playing "Shock The Doc" on Fluffy's next visit. But whether or not you tease Doc with your new-found knowledge, the most important thing is that you're learning more about that precious little fur-ball!

Caution: DO NOT use this information to diagnose Fluffy! If you have concerns, ask the Doc.

Blood Test Values and What they Mean

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2003-2013 by Kathy Fatheree. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: Kathy Fatheree is not at all a medical expert. Contents of this web site are a collection of Kathy's assist feeding experiences as well as the experiences of other cat owners who have assist fed their cats. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, Kathy Fatheree or anyone associated with this web site cannot be held responsible for anything that may happen as a result of using the information on this site.