8009 Gunn Highway
Tampa, FL 33626

Tel. 813 920-0566
Fax. 813 920-0549

5 Basic Test of Relevant Information

1. Complete Blood Count (CBC)

The most common test, a CBC gives information on hydration status, anemia, infection, the blood’s clotting ability, and the immune system’s ability to respond.

  • HCT (hematocrit) measures the percentage of red blood cells to detect anemia and dehydration.
  • Hb and MCHC (hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration) measure hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment of red blood cells (corpuscles).
  • GRANS and L/M (granulocytes and lymphocytes/monocytes) are specific types of white blood cells.
  • WBC (white blood cell) count classifies and measures the body’s immune cells cells.
  • EOS (eosinophils) are a specific type of white blood cells that, if elevated, may indicate allergic or parasitic conditions.
  • PLT (platelet count) measures cells that help stop bleeding by forming blood clots.
  • RETICS (reticulocytes) are immature red blood cells. High or low levels help classify anemias.

2. Blood Chemistry Tests

Liver (AST, ALT, Alk, Phos., T. Bilirubin, GGT, Cholesterol, Proteins)

This group of tests helps to evaluate various functions, inflammation, infection and neoplasia (cancer) of the liver and gall bladder may be detected by one or more of the tests.

Kidney (BUN, Creatinine, Phosphorus, Albumin, Globulin)

These tests monitor the function and health of the kidneys. They are most helpful and sensitive for detecting kidney disease when combined with a urinalysis (see section 4).

Pancreas (Glucose, Amylase, Lipase, Triglyceride)

These tests are abnormal when there is something wrong with pancreas or carbohydrate metabolism (e.g. diabetes mellitus and pancreatitis).

Muscle and Bone

Calcium and phosphorus are helpful in determining the health of the bone metabolism.

CPK and AST are abnormal with muscle damage, trauma or inflammation.

Electrolytes (Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorus): These are important in monitoring the water balance and cellular health of the body. Deficiencies or excesses of these electrolytes are harmful to your pet’s physical and mental well-being.

Serum Chemistry Profiles

These common tests help evaluate organ function, electrolyte status, hormone levels, and more.

  • ALB (albumin) is a serum protein that helps evaluate hydration, hemorrage, and intestinal, liver and kidney health.
  • ALKP or ALP (alkaline phosphatase) elevations may indicate liver damage, Cushing’s disease, and active bone growth in young pets.
  • ALT (alanine aminotransferase) is a sensitive indicator of active liver damage but doesn’t indicate the cause.
  • AMYL (amylase) elevations show pancreatitis or kidney disease.
  • AST (aspartate aminotransferase) increases may indicate liver, heart, or skeletal muscle damage.
  • BUN (blood urea nitrogen) reflects kidney function. An increased blood level is called azotemia and can be caused by kidney, liver, and heart disease, urethral obstruction, shock, and dehydration.
  • Ca (calcium) deviations can indicate a variety of diseases. Tumors, hyperparathyroidism, kidney disease, and low albumin are just a few of the conditions that alter serum calcium.
  • CHOL (cholesterol) is used to supplement diagnosis of hypothyroidism, liver disease, Cushing’s disease, and diabetes mellitus.
  • Cl (Chloride) is an electrolyte often lost with vomiting and Addison’s disease. Elevations often indicate dehydration.
  • Cortisol is a hormone that is measured in tests for Cushing’s disease (the low-dose-dexamethasone suppression test) and Addison’s disease (ACTH stimulation test)
  • CREA (creatinine) reflects kidney function. This test helps distinguish between kidney and non-kidney causes of elevated BUN.
  • GGT (gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase) is an enzyme that, when elevated, indicates liver disease or corticosteroid excess.
  • GLOB (globulin) is a blood protein that often increases with chronic inflammation and certain disease states.
  • GLU (glucose) is blood sugar. Elevated levels may indicate diabetes mellitus or stress. Low levels can cause collapse, seizures, or coma.
  • K (potassium) is an electrolyte lost with vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive urination. Increased levels may indicate kidney failure, Addison’s disease, dehydration, and urethral obstruction. High levels can lead to cardiac arrest and death.
  • LIP (lipase) is an enzyme that may indicate pancreatitis when elevated.
  • NA (sodium) is an electrolyte lost with vomiting, diarrhea and kidney or Addison’s disease. Thsi test also helps indicate hydration status.
  • PHOS (phosphorous) elevations are often associated with kidney disease, hyerthyroidism, and bleeding disorders.
  • TBIL (total bilirubin) elevations may indicate liver or hemolytic disease. This test helps identify bile duct problems and certain types of anemia.
  • TP (total protein) indicates hydration status and provide information about the lover, kidneys, and infectious diseases.
  • T4 (thyroxine) is a thyroid hormone. Decreased levels often signal hypothyroidism is dogs, while high levels indicate hyperthyroidism in cats

3. Thyroid Function Tests

As the name implies, these tests are useful in diagnosing malfunction of the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone) is common in dogs; whereas hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) is common in older cats.

Because there is no single thyroid test that can diagnose all thyroid diseases in your pet, a panel of several different thyroid tests is often used to ensure proper diagnosis.

4. Urinalysis

This assesses the health and function of your pet’s urinary system. It is especially important in older pets to help in early detection of kidney disease. While some serum chemistries help evaluate kidney function (BUN, Creatinine, etc.) much more information is obtained when a urinalysis is done at the same time. The urine sample is tested for several chemical components (glucose, protein, blood and more), as well as any cells (WBC, RBC, epithelial, etc.) and crystals.

5. Parasite Exams


A Sample of stool is examined to look for hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, coccidian, giardia and other intestinal parasites.


Serum is tested for the presence of heartworms on an annual basis. Whole blood can also be examined in anemic pets for other parasites

Some of the above information was collected from Antech Diagnostics – Senior @ Seven Wellness Exams