I cannot stress enough the importance of allowing or insisting that your veterinarian to do a blood test on your cat. Many cat health problems and reasons for feline anorexia can be revealed by seeing the blood test values. Your vet will probably start off with what is referred to as a Complete Blood Count or CBC and then add on test like Chem 6 and Chem 12 panels. Click this link to read about standard diagnostic feline blood test costs. Knowing your cat’s blood values will help you and your veterinarian in reading the signs of potential cat illnesses.
The blood test values to the right of an abbreviation is the normal value-range for felines. Your lab may have slightly different values so
Amylase An enzyme produced in the pancreas and salivary glands that helps in the digestion of starches. Elevation of blood amylase is common in pancreatitis, and cats with CRF condition.
Blood Urea Nitrogen. A measure primarily of the urea level in blood. (Urea: A nitrogen-containing substance normally cleared from the blood by the kidney into the urine. Urea is cleared by the kidney. Diseases that compromise the function of the kidney frequently lead to increased blood levels. A High BUN level (with low or normal creatnine) may indicate GI bleeding and bleeding ulcers. High BUN and high creatnine may indicate kidney failure. See Garry’s article Reading the Signs.
Calcium Is controlled in the blood by the parathyroid glands and the kidneys. Calcium is found mostly in bone and is important for proper blood clotting, nerve, and cell activity. An elevated calcium can be due to medications such as thiazide type diuretics, inherited disorders of calcium handling in the kidneys, or excess parathyroid gland activity or vitamin D. Low calcium can be due to certain metabolic disorders such as insufficient parathyroid hormone; or drugs like Fosamax or furosemide type diuretics. Calcium is bound to albumin in the blood, so a low albumin level will cause the total calcium level in the blood to drop. You doctor can easily determine if this is significant or not.
Is an enzyme which is very useful for diagnosing diseases of the heart and skeletal muscle. This enzyme is the first to be elevated after a heart attack (3 to 4 hours). If CPK is high in the absence of heart muscle injury, this is a strong indication of skeletal muscle disease.
Creatinine is a waste product largely from muscle breakdown. High values, especially with high BUN levels, may indicate problems with the kidneys.
C Reactive Protein. This is a marker for inflammation. Traditionally it has been used to assess inflammation in response to infection. However we use a highly sensitive C Reactive Protein which is useful in predicting vascular disease, heart attack or stroke..
Globulin. Albumin and Globulin measure the amount and type of protein in your blood. They are a general index of overall health and nutrition. Globulin is the “antibody” protein important for fighting disease.
Glucose: This is a measure of the sugar level in your blood. High values are associated with eating before the test, and diabetes.
Hemoglobin Hb is the standard abbreviation for hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein pigment in the blood, specifically in the red blood cells. Low Hgb suggests an anemia. High Hgb can occur due to lung disease, living at high altitude, or excessive bone marrow production of blood cells.
Hematocrit The hematocrit is the percentage of the blood volume occupied by red blood cells. In most labs the Hgb is actually measured, while the Hct is computed using the RBC measurement and the MCV measurement.
Cholesterol High Density Lipoprotein – The “good” cholesterol.
Potassium is controlled very carefully by the kidneys. It is important for the proper functioning of the nerves and muscles, particularly the heart. Any value outside the expected range, high or low, requires medical evaluation.
Cholesterol Low Density Lipoprotein – The “bad” cholesterol.
Mean Cell Hemoglobin The average amount of hemoglobin in the average red cell. The MCH is a calculated value derived from the measurement of hemoglobin and the red cell count. (The hemoglobin value is the amount of hemoglobin in a volume of blood while the red cell count is the number of red blood cells in a volume of blood.)
Mean Cell Hemoglobin Concentration. The average concentration of hemoglobin in a given volume of blood. The MCHC is a calculated value derived from the measurement of hemoglobin and the hematocrit. (The hemoglobin value is the amount of hemoglobin in a volume of blood while the hematocrit is the ratio of the volume of red cells to the volume of whole blood.)
Mean Cell Volume The average volume of a red blood cell. This is a calculated value derived from the hematocrit and the red cell count. The hematocrit is the ratio of the volume of red cells to the volume of whole blood while the red cell count is the number of red blood cells in a volume of blood. You may also see this referred to as: Mean Corpuscular Volume
Sodium Is also regulated by the kidneys and adrenal glands. There are numerous causes of high and low sodium levels, but the most common causes of low sodium are diuretic usage, diabetes drugs like chlorpropamide, and excessive water intake in patients with heart or liver disease.
Packed Cell Volume. Tests for the percentage of the blood volume occupied by red blood cells. Essentially the same results as the Hct test.
Phosphorus Is largely stored in the bone. It is regulated by the kidneys, and high levels may be due to kidney disease. When low levels are seen with high calcium levels it suggests parathyroid disease, however there are other causes.
Platelet Non-nucleated disk-shaped cells formed in the megakaryocyte and found in the blood of all mammals. They are mainly involved in blood coagulation.
Red Blood Cell: The blood cell that carries oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is the hemoglobin which permits them to transport oxygen (and carbon dioxide). Hemoglobin, aside from being a transport molecule, is a pigment. It gives the cell its red color (and name).
Red Cell Distribution Width: A measurement of the variability of red blood cell size. Higher numbers indicate greater variation in size.
Bilirubin Test is for Jaundice: Yellow staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally high blood levels of the bile pigment bilirubin. The yellowing extends to other tissues and body fluids. Jaundice was once called the “morbus regius” (the regal disease) in the belief that only the touch of a king could cure it.
When red blood cells are removed from the bloodstream, hemoglobin, the molecule in red cells that carries oxygen, is broken down into bilirubin. The bilirubin is carried to the liver and excreted into the intestine as a component of bile. Jaundice can indicate liver or gallbladder disease.
Total Protein Is a measure of total protein in the blood.
White Blood Cell: One of the cells the body makes to help fight infections. There are several types of white blood cells (leukocytes). The two most common types are the lymphocytes and neutrophils.(also called polymorphonuclear leukocytes, PMNs, or “polys”).
Cholesterol Very Low Density Lipoprotein – Another carrier of fat in the blood.
The material was extracted from qualified resources and compiled solely for the purpose of helping non-professionals gain a better understanding of blood-test reports. Accuracy of the information contained herein is not guaranteed by the author or by AssitFeed.com, and is not intended for use in medical diagnosis or treatment.
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.