the ‘Work-Up’

Have you ever wondered why doctors have to “work-up” a case?  A “work-up” usually involves lab work and radiographs (x-rays) to provide valuable information about your pet’s health. Other more complex tests may include ultrasounds, endoscopic exams, ECG’c, MRI’s, or CT scans.
“Work-ups” are especially valuable for veterinarians because our patients cannot speak to us.  They help us to accurately diagnose and treat illness as well as to prevent potential complications which may occur during anesthetic procedures or with use of certain medications. They also help us track changes in your pet’s health as he/she ages.
Bloodwork usually includes a Complete Blood Count (CBC), a Serum Chemistry Profile, and a thyroid panel.  A CBC provides us with information about a patient’s red and white blood cells, platelets, and protein levels. This information may reveal an anemia, an infection, dehydration, or a bone marrow problem. A serum chemistry profile reveals whether or not a patient’s liver and kidneys are functioning properly, whether he/she has diabetes, or an electrolyte imbalance. A urinalysis may indicate the presence of a urinary tract infection, diabetes, or a kidney problem. A thyroid panel tells us if your pet’s thyroid gland is functioning properly.
Pets can suffer from many of the same disease syndromes as their human counterparts, especially as they age. In many cases, the diagnoses and treatment regimens are similar. Whether you have a young, healthy pet undergoing a routine neutering surgery; an older, aging pet; or a sick pet, ask your veterinarian about performing a “work-up” to ensure the best care possible.