Today we’ll discuss the first test performed as part of our yearly Wellness testing- the Complete Blood Count. In the coming week we’ll feature articles describing the other parts of the Wellness test in detail.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
A Complete Blood Count (CBC) test is a wide ranging screening test that checks for anemia, infection, certain cancers and a variety of other disorders. This test is actually broken down into a few different parts which are listed below.
Red Blood Cell Count (RBC) : This is a count of the actual number of red blood cells in the blood. Red Blood Cells are essential for oxygen transport in the body. Increases (polycythemia) and decreases (anemia) in RBC’s can suggest a number of serious disease processes. The test also measures Hemoglobin the amount of oxygen-carrying protein in the Red Blood Cells. The test also examines the size and shape of these cells to ensure they function properly.
White Blood Cell Count: This is a count of the actual number of white blood cells in the blood. White blood cells play an incredibly important role in the body’s immune system. They are responsible for fighting infections, fighting parasites, inflammatory/allergic responses and more. There are a few different types of White Blood Cells in the body and they all play important roles in keeping your pet healthy.
There are five different types of White Blood Cells: Neutrophils, Lymphocytes, Monocytes, Eosinophils and Basophils
Each of these cells perform essential roles in preventing infection and illness in dogs and cats. Changes in the proportional numbers of these cells can give valuable insight into many different diseases.
Differential Blood Test: This test is performed by our highly trained veterinary technicians. It is different from the RBC and WBC count shown above. This test involves looking at the blood under a microscope to examine the types of Red and White blood cells that are present. We look for changes in the appearance of these cells that can give clues to certain illnesses.
Platelet Count: Platelets are a type of cell that play a important role to stop bleeding in the body. This test counts the number of platelets found in the blood. Decreases in the number of platelets can lead to fatal bleeding disorders. Conversly, increases in platelet numbers can increase the risk of having a stroke.
Our veterinary clinic offers a complete set of blood tests designed to ensure that your pet’s inner workings are healthy and happy. Our veterinarians may recommend slightly different variations of these tests to suit your dog or cat’s individual needs. To schedule a check up please contact us at the Main West Animal Hospital in Welland. We are a full service veterinary hospital serving our patients in Welland, Port Colborne, Pelham, Fonthill, Fenwick and the greater Niagara region.