Why Is My Dog Or Cat’s Blood CBC Count Abnormal?

Ron Hines DVM PhD

See What Normal Blood & Urine Values Are

Causes Of Most Abnormal Blood & Urine Tests

See How Tests Are Grouped

CBC = Complete Blood Cell Count

The CBC and Blood Chemistries are the most widely run blood tests in human and veterinary medicine. 

Your pet’s CBC generally includes the number of red blood cells present, the total number of white blood cells present  (=WBC or leukocyte count) as well as the number of specific white blood cell types  (=the differential count). It is common to also report the amount of hemoglobin present as well as the pet’s PCV (hematocrit) when a CBC is ordered.

The CBC, along with a standard panel of blood chemistry tests are the great workhorses of veterinary laboratory procedures and diagnostics. Contemplation and interpretation of their results is the usual starting off point when your veterinarian must decide if more specialized tests are required and which additional procedures, if any, need to be done. You don’t just want to know why your dog or cat is ill – you want to know if it will get better (the pet’s prognosis). These tests, particularly when they are performed at various points in its illness, will tell you that.

If your veterinarian is not fairly certain what your pet’s health issue is after the physical examination, a CBC and blood chemistry panel will likely be his/her suggestion to you. You can view some standard blood chemistry panels here and read about each individual test here.

Read more about veterinary chemistry panels in general here.


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