Diagnosing Arthritis

Blood Tests

Why does my dog need a blood test?

Your vet will offer you a blood test during the diagnosis of arthritis or shortly after. This is an essential component of a good management plan for a number of reasons.

  1. Arthritis is more prevalent in older dogs, who are more prone to other chronic conditions that can also cause lethargy and weakness. Having a blood test to rule out other possible diseases is crucial for an accurate diagnosis.
  2. The blood test may highlight other chronic conditions which will affect the way your dog responds to the medication prescribed. For example, a dog with liver disease may not process the pain relief drugs as well as we would expect, putting them at increased risk of toxicity.
  3. The blood test provides a baseline to refer back to during the treatment in case of complications.
  4. On finding a second condition, or possibly a third, an owner may question whether further management is right for their dog. The kinder thing may be to let them pass away peacefully at the appropriate time.