Bloodwork requirements for pets on longterm medication

Your pet has been prescribed longterm medication for a chronic condition. Blood tests give us vital information on how your pet is doing on that current medication dosage. Longterm medication can affect pets in different ways and often in ways that we cannot easily see.

Common blood tests as their requirements

Condition Blood test Frequency Fasting required (YES/NO)
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) use e.g. for arthritis Biochemistry Twice yearly YES
Digoxin e.g. for heart disease

Digoxin levels

 

Kidney and liver profile

Every month until the levels are stable

 

Every 3-6 months

 

 

 

YES

Insulin e.g. for diabetes Glucose test The testing frequency will be determined by the vet.

NO

Diabetics must NOT have fasted

Thyroid replacement medication e.g. for hyperthyroid or hypothyroid conditions T4

6 weeks after starting medication

Then every 3-6 months.

YES
Phenobarbital or potassium bromide e.g. for seizures Serum phenobarbital

Monitored until a stable level is reached.

Then every 6 months.

YES

Give medication in the morning and blood will be drawn 6-8 hours later.

Fasting

This does not apply to diabetic pets.

Bloodwork results

Blood test results are typically available within 24-48 hours. Most of our blood tests can be done inhouse and results may be available earlier. These results are important in determining the next steps for the patient. We will endeavor to notify you of the results at the time of discharge or the following day by phone. 

Why the need for rechecks and bloods before refilling your pet's prescription medication?

Veterinarians can only prescribe medications when a veterinarian-client-patient-relationship has been established. This means the veterinarian must see the client and patient on a regular basis, usually every 6-12 months, to re-examine the pet, perform blood work and/or determine if changes to the medication are required. 

Wherever possible, please allow us at least 24 hours for your pet’s prescription medications to be refilled. This will allow the veterinarian to review your pet’s medical record, make sure no further changes are required and whether your pet is required to be re-examined again. 

Reading the label

All medications prescribed and dispensed by your veterinarian will include:

  • Pet first and last name
  • Date of dispensing
  • Drug details
  • Dose and duration
  • Route of administration
  • Cautionary statements
  • Veterinarian details and Clinic details

Please make yourself familiar with these details and contact us if you have any questions.

Handling, Storage and Disposal

Your veterinarian will inform you about appropriate drug handling, storage, and disposal.