Why Is My Dog's Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate Increased ?
Why Is My Cat's Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate Increased ?
To see what normal blood and urine values are for your pet, go here
For an explanation of causes of most abnormal blood and urine tests go here
To see how tests are often grouped, go here
Ron Hines DVM PhD
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Your Pet's Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
= ESR or Sed Rate
See a slightly different explanation here.
The erythrocyte sedimentation rate or ESR is a very basic test that responds to inflammation anywhere in your pet's body. It measures the speed with which your pet’s red blood cells (erythrocytes=RBCs) drop to the bottom of a glass tube over a period of one hour.
This old test, is rapidly being replaced by more sophisticated ones that directly measure the amount of inflammatory agents (eg C-reactive protein, an acute phase reactant produced by your pet's liver) that rise in all sorts of inflammatory situations.
Although the ESR tells veterinarians that inflammation is present, it does not tell us where the inflammation is happening or the type. Certain blood constituents (mainly fibrinogen) speed the rate at which the blood settles (sediments) under gravity while others (the negative charge of erythrocytes) delay it.
Reason’s Your Pets Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate Might Be Faster (Higher) Than Normal :
Any cause of inflammation. That could be an infection, the inflammation of moderate to severe arthritis, autoimmune disease, parasite infections, cancer or kidney disease.
Even anemia itself increases ESR. So pets with a lower than normal number of red blood cells often have faster sedimentation rates.
Reason’s My Pets Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate Might Be Slower (Lower) Than Normal :
Diseases that alter the shape of erythrocytes can extend ESR rate test results. So can very high white blood cell (WBC) counts, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), chronic heart failure or elevated blood bile salt levels.