Pet Blood Tests

Learning about the numbers in your pet’s Complete Blood Test

While taking your pet to the hospital for regular check-ups, don’t you often see the big three letters – CBT – written on the list of required diagnostic tests to be done? But what really is it, why is it done, and what do all those confusing numbers followed by uncanny English alphabets indicate? Let’s find out! 

Still confused as to why your pet needs CBT multiple times a year even when he is healthy?

The Complete Blood test or CBT is a common blood test performed on pets to obtain data that help your vet to understand his general health status. These numbers also help monitor ill patients undergoing treatment and so, request for follow-up CBT checks are fairly common by your vet at the hospital.

Components to look out for in his CBT report

Red Blood Cell (RBC) Parameters: RBC, HCT, HGB, MCH, MCHC, RDW and RETIC

  • RBC count, HCT (hemocrit) and HGB (haemoglobin) increase in which suggests dehydration or diseases of increased RBC production while their decreased numbers points to anaemia and deceased oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. MCV (mean cell volume)
  • MCV (mean cell volume) spike in which is evidence of presence of larger than normal cells indicative of young cells’ response to anaemia. Reversibly, declining MCV relates to presence of smaller than normal cells associated with chronic blood loss/iron deficiency.
  • Escalated MCH (mean cell haemoglobin) and MCHC (mean cell haemoglobin concentration) figures imply the presence of haemolysis or an interference in haemoglobin measurement while a drop suggests decreased haemoglobin concentration as a response to anaemia and chronic blood loss/iron deficiency.
  • Increased RDW (red cell distribution width) is a measure of variability of RBC size. It helps your veterinarian identify potential cause of an RBC problem.
  • Lastly, soaring RETIC (reticulocytes) digits indicate growing numbers of immature RBCs as a result of their peripheral demand while their reduction is a sign of nonregenerative anaemia (the body being unable to respond to RBC demand appropriately).

White Blood Cell (WBC) Parameters

  • Increased WBC (white blood cells) count– inflammation, stress, excitement and leukaemia
  • Decreased WBC count – overwhelming inflammation and bone marrow failure

Leukocyte Differential – represents various patterns of change in numbers of

  • NEU (neutrophils): associated with infectious and non-infectious diseases
  • LYM (lymphocytes): highly responsive to stress and increased due to chronic infection
  • MONO (monocytes): related to repair of tissue injury
  • EOS (eosinophils) & BASO (basophils): linked with parasitic disease, hypersensitivity and allergy

Platelet (PLT) Parameters

  • PLT (platelet) and PCT (platelet crit): their elevated numbers point to hypercoagulable state (too much clotting) and decrease signifies bone marrow failure, increased inflammation and destruction in blood (immune or infectious disease).
  • Growing MPV (mean platelet volume) represents presence of larger than normal platelets commonly linked with response to need for platelets (insignificant in the cat).
  • PDW (platelet distribution width) is an objective measure of variability of platelet size. Increased variability in size may be a response to a need for platelets (not significant in the cat) and decreases may be seen with immune-mediated thrombocytopenia.

SO, instead of thinking of CBT as over the top expense, why not consider it as an indicator of his health! Catching any anomaly early is best before any kind of condition progresses in his body. After all, we know you want him to nuzzle up to you for a long long time.  

Packages offered at Pawxie provide you free blood test service, so what’re waiting for? Come avail our packages today!