Why Is My Dog Or Cat’s Blood Icterus Index High?

Why Is My Dog Or Cat’s Blood Icterus Index High?

Ron Hines DVM PhD

To see what normal blood and urine values are, go here

For an explanation of causes of most abnormal blood and urine tests, go here

To see how tests are grouped, go here

The Icterus Index Of Your Dog And Cat’s Blood = A Measure Of Jaundice 

Jaundice results from excessive amounts of bilirubin in your dog or cat’s bloodstream

You can also read similar topics here: Jaundice, Bilirubin blood level,  Urobilinogen , Bilirubin in urine)

When your dog or cat’s blood sample is sent to a laboratory for a  blood chemistry analysis (using chemical diazo reagents combined with oxidative changes and spectrophotometry), its bilirubin content is determined automatically.

There are times when the amount of hemolysis, fatty substances in the serum (lipemia index) , cloudiness (turbidity index) or excessive heparin anticoagulant in the blood sample can affect those bilirubin test results. 

The icterus index can also be performed in a simpler manner to measures the amount of bilirubin in your pet’s blood. It is a simpler test, based on the color that bilirubin imparts to blood serum. It does not appear to be affected by the issues I mentioned when the yellow color icterus imparts to blood is determined by more complex methods. This is a very old test. It is no longer offered by the labs I use but I thought I’d mention it.

When the total bilirubin values obtained by more modern methods do not come close to matching the icterus index, one might suspect that the values provided by the more modern analyzers were inaccurate and needed to be repeated.


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