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

Ron Hines DVM PhD

See What Normal Blood & Urine Values Are

Causes Of Most Abnormal Blood & Urine Tests

See How Tests Are Grouped

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

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

You can also read similar topics in these posts: 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, or fatty substances in your pet’s serum (lipemia index) or cloudiness (turbidity index) or excessive heparin anticoagulant added to the blood sample affect the 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 laboratories in North America, but I thought I’d mention it. When the total bilirubin values obtained by modern methods are not close to matching the icterus index, one might suspect that this more modern analyzer needed some calibration and adjustments.


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