The importance of blood work

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The importance of blood work

Postby Mooresmajestic » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:02 pm

As mentioned in another thread Vi is going in Tuesday to have a broken tooth removed. I always do a blood panel before any procedure involving anesthesia no matter the dogs age or how long ago the last panel was done. Vi's last blood panel was done about 7 months ago before her spay, and she had another one done yesterday. The results of yesterday's panel showed slightly elevated liver enzymes (she is showing zero clinical signs). While not a cause for alarm, it showed I need to take action to bring these levels back into the normal range. I always push semiannual (or at least annual) blood panels, and I surprisingly got a lot of flack from co-workers for it. They even gave me flack for doing this panel since Vi is "not yet 5, and you have her on the best foods, watch her weight, exercise her regularly and just had one done a few months ago". Today I went around and had a "see, this is why" moment with these people. You don't know what is going on on the inside, and by the time your dog shows symptomatic behavior the problem is usually pretty severe. This just goes to show an owner that does everything right can still have issues come up. The difference is how fast that issue is found and corrected.

So what this all boils down to is what could have been a horrible and costly illness if gone undetected, became an early warning that with the addition of inexpensive supplements and us watching her diet future problems and the associated heartache can be avoided. All thanks to a simple (and very inexpensive) blood test.

I shared this with you all so it can be used as an example. The vets aren't trying to "get more money from you", or "do things she/he doesn't need because she/he isn't sick". They are doing it for the wellbeing and long term health of your pet. Remember a lot can change in 6 (or in this case 7) months, a lot can change in just 1 month. Pre-surgical blood work is always the best option, and should be done for even the most minor of procedures.
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The importance of blood work

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:15 pm

Absolutely. I do bloodwork once yearly for Obi who is five, and at LEAST twice yearly for Buddy who is 12.

Great post. :)
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Re: The importance of blood work

Postby elegy » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:16 pm

Yup, agreed!

I just did bloodwork on Luce because she'd accidentally lost four pounds. Probably a result of 11 days in a boarding kennel three weeks before, but she's 9 1/2 and I needed to make sure there wasn't something going on. The doctor didn't recommend it, but I wanted it. (She was acting completely fine.)

Her bloodwork came back absolutely normal, but it was worth it to know.
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Re: The importance of blood work

Postby Naomi » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:22 am

I totally agree. I hate when people bring in majorly overweight dogs that are in their senior years and decline bloodwork before an.op. If their pet didn't make it through the anesthetic i know they would be straight on to blaming us...

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Re: The importance of blood work

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:08 pm

Naomi wrote:I totally agree. I hate when people bring in majorly overweight dogs that are in their senior years and decline bloodwork before an.op. If their pet didn't make it through the anesthetic i know they would be straight on to blaming us...

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Its not optional at our clinic - and while the vast majority are normal or don't change the protocol, every now and then we will detect something major. I have gone from a simple dental to an abdominal explore to remove a previously undetected cancer (and resulted in a cure!!) this past year, and had several others where treatment was instituted early.

Bloodwork is so important, I couldn't imagine doing my job without it.
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Re: The importance of blood work

Postby twisted » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:21 pm

this is kind of how we found out socks had problems with his kidneys. through a simple blood panel before a surgery.
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The importance of blood work

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:31 pm

We did pre-op bloodwork on a 3 year old yorkie who was in this week for a quick dental cleaning. His BUN was slightly elevated so we did a urinalysis, which led us to bladder xrays which led us to doing a cystotomy instead of s dentistry.
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Re: The importance of blood work

Postby dogs4jen » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:31 pm

I am thinking that I really should start going to a different vet because mine doesn't have a blood machine at all, she has to send everything out to a lab. I've been going to her for a long time, 15 years or so, and she's very kind, always cleans their ears, anal sacs and trims their nails if they need it, but not being able to do bloodwork on the spot is bothering me.
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Re: The importance of blood work

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:22 am

dogs4jen wrote:I am thinking that I really should start going to a different vet because mine doesn't have a blood machine at all, she has to send everything out to a lab. I've been going to her for a long time, 15 years or so, and she's very kind, always cleans their ears, anal sacs and trims their nails if they need it, but not being able to do bloodwork on the spot is bothering me.


Send-out labwork is fine for routine things, and should absolutely be done before every anesthetic procedure. I would find another vet in town to see when your pet has severe illness so you can get testing on the spot, but otherwise send-out labwork is just as good (and sometimes cheaper).

A good test (but nothing is perfect) of the quality of the medicine at a given practice is the quality of the x-ray machine. A good doctor cannot practice without quality x-rays, and a quality machine should allow anyone to make out the stomach vs. spleen vs. bladder. If your vet doesn't show you the x-rays or they don't seem sharp and clear to you, then your vet is not well invested in quality medical care.
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Re: The importance of blood work

Postby Mooresmajestic » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:40 pm

So the final verdict on Vi's blood work after 3 of our Drs discussed it and given Vi's history of stealing food is mild/beginning pancreatitis. Since her tooth is no longer causing her pain we are holding off on the extraction and getting her liver values back to normal first. She gets another blood panel done this Thursday to check and see how far the elevated levels have dropped since starting treatment with high doses of milk thistle, a round of antibiotics (mostly for the tooth, but will help if there is an underlying infection from something else) and a low fat diet and will get blood work every week until they are back in the normal range, then a follow-up panel 1 month after that. She will remain on long term holistic liver supplements and a low fat diet once everything is back to normal, and we just have to be more careful with our food to prevent further thefts. I chose to go with a holistic approach since she was showing no clinical signs of illness, and her levels while high weren't dangerous and were not showing any lasting or long term damage. My vets felt this approach was safe, effective and appropriate for her situation since the problem was caught so early.

Blood work for the win!
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Re: The importance of blood work

Postby dogs4jen » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:16 pm

Good, I hope she'll be fine! :thumbsup:
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Re: The importance of blood work

Postby PitBull-Lady » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:51 pm

:thumbsup:
Mooresmajestic wrote:Blood work for the win!
:thumbsup:
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Re: The importance of blood work

Postby Naomi » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:53 pm

Its not optional at our clinic - and while the vast majority are normal or don't change the protocol, every now and then we will detect something major. I have gone from a simple dental to an abdominal explore to remove a previously undetected cancer (and resulted in a cure!!) this past year, and had several others where treatment was instituted early.

Bloodwork is so important, I couldn't imagine doing my job without it.[/quote]


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You have no idea how jealous I am. I wish our clinic would consider that rule
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Re: The importance of blood work

Postby Mooresmajestic » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:40 am

Update:
So after exactly 1 week of the original blood work I had a second panel done so we could see how well the holistic approach to Vi's elevated liver enzymes was going. I'm pleased to say the new panel showed all liver enzymes were back in the normal range but 1 and that one is barely over normal. The other levels are still slightly higher than her normal (compared to the last 4 years of blood work results), but are within a normal range. Everything should be back to her normal by next week, and I'll be doing another panel just to make sure.

Early detection for the win! And a hat tip to natural remedies for fixing this problem and not having to resort to drugs.
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Re: The importance of blood work

Postby Ilovethepits » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:57 am

I'm so happy that Vi is doing so well!
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