Blood Testing

Our laboratory offers a rapid and efficient service with fast turnaround of results. Many branches have state-of-the-art in-house equipment for an even faster service. In addition to testing for the disease in an unwell patient, we also offer screening tests before your pet undergoes an anaesthetic to ensure that we identify any previously unknown problems, helping us to ensure the anaesthetic is as safe as possible.

Your pet might need a blood test for a number of reasons. They can help us further investigate and diagnose illness’ in your pet. They can also be used to confirm a current diagnosis or check that a particular cause of treatment or medication is working.  We may also use them to diagnose an infectious disease, organ failure or even skin allergies.

We may also recommend a blood test to get a picture of your pet’s internal health when they are fit and healthy – prior to an anaesthetic or to help early disease detection as your pet ages.   We can measure a range of parameters which allow us to assess your pet’s blood cells and organ function and we compare the results to what is expected to be in the normal range for their species and age.

Having a blood test on record when your pet is fit and healthy means we can have a “normal range” individual to your pet.

How do we take a blood test?

To obtain the blood sample from your pet, we will usually need to shave some fur off from their neck or leg. We will sterilise the skin and then insert a needle into their vein to retrieve the blood sample.  Our veterinary teams are trained to hold your pet safely and use methods that reduce the stress for your pet.   In most situations, we will take the blood test without you present, as this reduces the stress for your pet.

Taking a blood sample from an animal is normally a relatively stress-free process for them. However, in extreme cases, if your pet is incredibly nervous or anxious, the veterinary team may recommend anti-anxiety medication or sedation.  If you know your pet is particularly stressed at the Veterinary Clinic, please ask your veterinary team if anti-anxiety medication, given at home before your appointment, would be beneficial.

If you have any concerns regarding the procedure or are unsure how your pet might react to having their blood test, you can speak to a member of the team at your local practice, who will be more than happy to provide further advice.

Is there anything you can do to prepare your pet for a blood test?

If you know that your pet is going to have a blood test, there are a couple of steps we recommend you take beforehand.

  1. Try to ensure your pet hasn’t eaten a meal at least six hours before their blood test. This will help to clear their bloodstream from lipemia (fat), which has been known to interfere with blood test results.
  2. Try to avoid exercising or playing with your dog before their blood sample. Again, doing so could potentially affect the results of their blood test, leading to an inaccurate diagnosis.

Depending on why your pet is having the blood test, your vet may request you to take further precautions. For instance, you may be asked to withhold food for longer, as well as medication. However, your vet will discuss this with you beforehand. You may also be asked to bring a urine sample from your pet to the appointment and the team can advise you on the best method of collection.

Additionally, if you know that your pet gets nervous when visiting the vets, there are some steps you can take to reduce their anxiety.

  • If you have a dog, it’s advised that you always keep them on a lead, and/or wait in the car until it is their turn. This reduces the amount of time they need to spend in the practice.
  • Bring their favourite treats for a reward.
  • If you have a cat or a smaller animal, it’s advised that you bring them in their carry cage, along with a blanket or toy that smells of home. This helps them to safe, and in turn reduces their anxiety. Please see our guide on bringing your cat to the vet for more detailed insights on reducing the stress of a vet visit.
  • Calming pheromones can help reduce anxiety and you could spray some Adaptil spray on a bandana for you dog, or use Feliway travel spray in the carrier for your cat.
  • Speak to the veterinary team about the use of anti-anxiety medication prior to your appointment if you know that your pet is particularly anxious or fearful.

How long will it take to take a blood sample?

This can vary greatly.  We can usually take them within a 15-minute appointment slot as part of your consultation, however depending on the situation your pet may need to be admitted to the practice for either a short period or the full day, especially if other tests or treatments are required, or if we need to take multiple samples.  We may need to book an extended consultation if your pet has multiple problems or other tests that need to be run,  such as blood pressure.  Please be prepared that you may need to leave your pet with us for a short period of time.

How long will it take to get the results?

In general, a blood test can take 2-7 days to be processed. However, in the event of an emergency, the blood sample may be fast-tracked.

Our laboratory offers a rapid and efficient service with a fast turnaround time for results. Plus, many of our branches have state-of-the art in-house equipment for an even faster service.  Please check with your veterinary surgeon when to expect the results and you may wish to make a repeat consultation or telemedicine appointment to discuss them.  Please call or email if you have not heard about the results 24 hours after the expected time, during our normal working hours.

How is the blood test analysed?

Blood samples are analysed on calibrated and quality-checked laboratory equipment using either in-practice analysers or an external reference lab.  We may also use “Snap Tests”, similar to the rapid antigen tests we have all become familiar with, to diagnose infectious diseases. All blood tests are examined by a veterinary surgeon who will review the results and then decide on the next steps.

Blood testing at Goddard Vet Practices

Here at Goddard Veterinary Group, we’re pleased to offer a fast and efficient blood testing service, that’s carried out by our friendly team of dedicated experts. If you think that your pet needs a blood test for any reason, or you would like to speak to one of our trusted vets for advice, you should contact your local practice. You can view our complete list of services below.