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Interpreting Lab Results
Scary times when your cat is ill and you are waiting for answers. After blood is drawn and sent out for testing, a copy of the lab results is mailed to you. You stand there puzzling over the many symbols and abbreviations wondering just what they all mean:
ALB- Albumin is a serum protein that measures and evaluates the hydration level, checks for hemorrhage occurring and looks at the intestines, liver and kidney to locate damage.
ALKP- Alkaline Phosphatase. When these levels are out of normal range, they may indicate liver damage. Also measures active bone growth.
ALT- Alanine Aminotransforase- indicates liver damage
AMYL- Amylase- shows pancreatitis or kidney disease
AST- Asparatate Aminotransferase- increased rates can show liver, heart, or skeletal muscle damage
Blood Chemistries- helps measure organ functions, electrolyte balance, and hormone levels. Bloodwork necessary to be performed if an older cat is undergoing surgery.
BUN- Blood Urea Nitrogen- measures kidney function, heart, liver, urethral obstruction, shock and dehydration.
Ca- Calcium any changes can indicate tumors, hyperparathyroidism, kidney disease and other diseases that can alter serum calcium.
CBC- Complete Blood Count a common blood test that shows hydration level, anemia, autoimmune disease, can also indicate blood disorders besides just anemia.
CHOL- Cholesterol- used to diagnose hyperthyroidism, liver disease and diabetes
Cl- Chloride elevated values indicates dehydration
Cortisol- a hormone measured in tests for Cushing’s Disease or Addison’s disease
CREA- Creatine shows kidney function
EOS- Eosinophils-certain types of white blood cells showing allergies or parasite generated problems
FIBR- Fibrinogen a clotting factor
GGT- Gamma Glutamyl Transferase- an enzyme that alerts to liver disease or corticosteroid excess
GLOB- Globulin- a blood protein. Increased levels indicates inflammation and certain other diseases
GLU- Glucose otherwise known as blood sugar. High levels can point to diabetes, lower levels can cause the cat to suffer seizures, tremors or collapse.
GRANS and L/M- Granulocytes and lymphocytes/monocytes- specific groups of white blood cells
Hb and MCHC- Hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration-the red blood cells essential for carrying oxygen.
HCT- Hematocrit-spots anemia and dehydration by measuring the percentage of red blood cells available.
K- Potassium- increased values may indicate kidney damage, Addison’s disease, and hydration levels
LIP- Lipase- an enzyme that may spot pancreatitis
Na- Sodium-helps establish the level of hydration
PHOS- Phosphorus- elevated levels can point to kidney disease, bleeding disorders and hyperthyroidism
PLT- Platelet count-measures the cells that clot blood
Retics- Reticulocytes- these are immature red blood cells. Elevated levels indicate regenerative anemia.
T4- Thyroxine- this is a thyroid hormone. Elevated levels can indicate hyperthyroidism
TBIL- Total billrubin- shows hydration levels and indicates liver or hemolytic disease. Can also show bile duct obstructions and point to various types of anemia.
TP- Total protein- shows hydration level and provides information to the status of the liver, kidneys and if there are infectious diseases aboard.
Hopefully, by taking some of the mystery out of the symbols and numbers you see will help you get through the scary period of your cat being ill. To view normal blood chemistry values visit this website: http://www.thepetcenter.com/pha/cp.html