THE COMPLETE BLOOD COUNT
The complete blood count is a simple test that remains at the forefront of screening tests which can reveal disease before signs emerge. To understand this test, it is important to know that blood consists of two major parts: plasma and cellular elements. The plasma is the part of the blood that is liquid which allows the blood to flow easily. The other part of the blood consists of blood cells. A simple drop contains millions of cells.
From the nearly 2 dozen types of cells in a half teaspoon of blood we are able to get clues to diagnose conditions ranging from cancer, anemia or infections to autoimmune disease. Since our patients don't speak, we need these tests more than ever to peek into their bodies. When we think about our amazing God's design of the cardiovascular system - the heart, the arteries, the veins and capillaries that carry our blood throughout our bodies; we start to see how these cells can reveal problems before signs develop. From carrying oxygen and nutrients to fuel our bodies to eliminating carbon dioxide and wastes from our bodies, it is all there in our blood. While CBC results can be complicated and inter-related, don't stress about one or two values that are off. As your veterinarian, I will explain the results. In some cases the values may require additional tests or X-rays, but this is not common. When we are able to perform blood work annually, particularly in seniors over 7 yrs of age we have a baseline, and are able to monitor conditions as they progress, or correct problems before they become more serious. It is better to have a normal test than to regret it later; when we failed to check.