Times change and my website needed to change too. To see the 2020 update of this page click this link
Go to this page first. Find the test that interests you. Note the normal values for dogs or cats and compare it to the value in your pet. When you clicking on that test, it will take you to the proper explanation. For now, there are more tests discussed on the DxMe page than on the values page - with time, they should all appear on both.
I’ve written articles on some of the more common health issues of dogs and cats. Those appear as links in the article for each test. If I do not have an article to offer you, the link will send you to the best explanations I know of.
I tried to list the diseases that abnormal test result suggest more-or-less in the order of frequency with which I see them. That is never precise and it is always subject to discussion. When I write “diabetes” I mean diabetes mellitus. If I mean the other diabetes (D. insipidus) I will say so.
You should be concerned enough to repeat the test(s) at a later date (~3-4 weeks) if your veterinarian does not have a reasonable non-health-related explanation for the unusual value. If the test was performed because of severe health changes do not wait that long. If the test(s) are still abnormal a second time (preferably on a different lab machine), consider additional tests and procedures that examine the problem more closely.
Minor high or low values can be of no significance (10-12%), but they can announce the start of an organ problem that will increase or resolve with or without treatment. In some cases, they are related to the advancing age of your pet.
ERRORS OCCUR. Abnormal lab results need to be repeated and confirmed – preferably at a large veterinary testing laboratory. Your decisions always need to be made in light of your pet’s history and age, your veterinarian’s physical examination and the other clinical data that your veterinarian has accumulated.
How your dog or cat ’s blood sample is collected and how it is handled after collection can cause errors in the results. Samples that are pink or red (hemolized) can give falsely high readings for ALT, AST,creatinine, CK, iron, LDH, lipase, Magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and BUN and falsely low readings for albumin, ALP, Chloride, GGT, glucose and sodium.
There is considerable overlap on the focus of specific tests, but here is the way I organize them in my mind. They could (and have) been grouped in a variety of different ways:
detection, TSH level (in dogs=cTSH)
nitrogen (= BUN), creatinine, phosphorus,
urine specific gravity, urine pH, protein and/or microalbuminuria
(Many of the urine tests also give veterinarians clues as to your pet’s hydration/dehydration status)
often “leak” during liver disease are: ALT, AP, AST, Albumin, SDH, LDH, GGT.
Tests that judge how well your dog or cat’s liver is performing its tasks also include : Bilirubin, bile acids, Blood Ammonia
Total protein, albumin, immunoglobulin (among you pet's blood proteins, albumin transports hormones, fatty acids, and other compounds, buffers blood pH, and maintains cellular pressure . It has other functions. The pet's Immunoglobulins function in its immune system.)
Blood progesterone, estrogen, GnRH levels, GnRH response test
Platelet count, clotting time, bleeding time, prothrombin time, coagulation time, coagulation on glass, thrombin clot time, APPT, von Willebrand factor , blood fibrinogen levels , D-dimer assay for DIC