Tieton Drive Animal Clinic

3901 Tieton Drive
Yakima, WA 98902



Blood work

One of the major challenges we face in veterinary medicine is that our patients simply can't tell us what problems they are experiencing.  We rely on your observations at home as well as a thorough physical exam to help us find the reason for current problems or to identify chronic issues as early as possible.  Because of this, especially if you are bringing your pet in for a health issue or if some problems have come up during your annual wellness exam, we often recommend blood work for your pet.

What does blood work tell us? There are many customized panels we can choose from that can give us specific information based on your pet's needs, but a minimum database includes a CBC, a chemistry analysis, and a urinalysis.  

  • A CBC or Complete Blood Count? looks at the cells in your pet?s blood- red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.  This lets us know if your animal is anemic (low red blood cells) or if there may be an infectious process somewhere (high white blood cells).  This also compares the different types of white blood cells and looks for patterns that may indicate stress, inflammation, or bone marrow disease. We also look at the blood cells themselves for signs of toxicity and parasites.  

  • A blood chemistry looks at the enzymes, electrolytes, and other chemicals contained in the blood rather than the cells themselves. This gives us information like how your pet's liver and kidneys are functioning or if your pet might have abnormal blood sugar levels.  It can also give us clues to other metabolic disorders such as thyroid disease and adrenal disease.

  • A urinalysis is a gross, chemical and microscopic examination of your pet's urine.  This may be collected as a free catch or we may need a sterile sample if we are concerned about a urinary tract infection. This can give us a lot of additional information about how your pets kidneys are functioning, if there are urinary crystals, or if there is protein or sugar leaking into the urine.  

For urgent problems where we need answers right away, we are able to run most blood panels in-house. For basic screening or for animals who are otherwise stable, we will send blood out to a professional lab where board certified pathologists are on hand to review the results.  This also gives us the capability of running specialized panels for thyroid disease, intestinal diseases, tick borne illnesses, or diseases of the immune system.  The lab can also culture urine samples if we are concerned about potentially resistant bacteria.  For basic panels, the results come back to us the next day.  Some other tests may take longer and we will call you as soon as we have the information.

We also run basic blood screens in-house on the morning of surgeries or dental cleanings for your pet. This lets us check for hidden problems which may interfere with a safe anesthesia and allows us to tailor medications and anesthetic protocols just for your animal.

What are some indications to run blood work for your pet?

  • Unintentional weight loss

  • Weight gain in the face of appropriate diet and exercise

  • Hair loss

  • Drinking and/or urinating more frequently

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea

  • Yellowing of the skin, gums, or eyes

  • Reduced energy

  • If your pet is on a long-term medication

  • Prior to surgery

  • Monitoring chronic conditions

  • Senior pets should have blood work done every 6-12 months

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet's health!