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by Dr. Monica Tarantino

A comprehensive blood panel is a common vet exam. It is a great way to see how your senior dog is doing. It can show things like kidney or liver function, sugar levels, and other issues. The vet will take a sample of blood and check a few of its basic functions.

Many aging dogs experience health problems as they get older, no different from human beings. As a pet owner, you might want to take your old dog in for some tests to see how healthy they are. However, you are likely to be a little confused as to why they need these tests, especially if some of the tests offered are defined as senior dog blood tests.

Comprehensive blood tests on your senior dogs can be really helpful to your senior dog's health and this blog will look at some common components of blood tests for senior dogs!

What Is a Blood Test? What Do They Check For?

Dog owners may want to check up on their pets from time to time. Making sure things are going well, feeling healthy, and are developing normally for dogs is vital because as dog owners, it's our job to ensure that our senior dog has the best life possible.

To do this though, one has to make sure they know all they can about their beloved pup. A simple blood test can give you all the answers you need and more.

A blood test allows us to dig deeper into your senior dog’s health and wellness, by taking a sample of their blood which we can then have tested in our laboratory. Many dogs actually do very well when you take their blood as it is considered a noninvasive test for our pets.

We’ll check different components such as the red blood cells and white blood cells, as well as chemicals like biochemistry and immunology. By getting this information about your pooch, you will be able to understand them better and recognize when it might be an issue worth looking into with a veterinarian.

What Do They Check On A Senior Dog Blood Panel?

Senior dog blood panels are often called or have similar components to a comprehensive blood panel at the vet hospital.

Comprehensive blood panels have many common components which we discuss below. Some of these blood panels may even have an extra component or two to them that your vet wants to screen due to your pet’s age.

For example, at our animal hospital in North Carolina, we have a comprehensive blood profile that we often perform on older dogs that also allows us to also check a heart enzyme which we like to screen in senior dogs.

This is not in every ‘Senior Dog Blood Panel’ because what is deemed as important for a senior dog may vary depending on the clinic and laboratories that test your dog’s blood.

Senior dogs are most at risk of having health issues, so vets recommend that you get your pet senior dog tested for biochemistry profile, complete blood count, thyroid hormone testing, and urinalysis.

A heartworm test is also a blood test that is important to have done on senior dogs.

What are common components of blood tests for an older dog?

Here are some common components of blood tests performed in aging dogs.

Complete Blood Picture (CBC)

This test gives complete information about the cells present in the blood including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. The CBC Provide the detail of size, number, and abnormality in these cells.

Bio-Chemistry Profile

A biochemistry profile is a panel of tests that gives you information about different organs and tissues and helps you understand the underlying causes for many ailments like liver disorders, diabetes, kidney dysfunction, etc.


Electrolytes are important in determining the components that help manage the acid-base balance in your pet’s bloodstream. It often includes things like sodium, potassium, and chloride which are all important components of blood. Disturbances here can help veterinarians determine processes occurring in a pet’s body.

Thyroid Testing

Not every comprehensive blood test will check the thyroid but some will. The thyroid hormone helps control the metabolism in your dog’s body. Hormone testing is frequently part of a senior dog's annual checkup because as the dog ages hypothyroid disease can have adverse effects on his overall health and wellness.


Though this looks at urine, a urinalysis is a common component of lab work that can be performed in senior dogs. It is a simple test that tells about the chemical and physical properties of urine.

Basically, it provides a picture of how well the kidneys and urinary system are working. The urinalysis test is also helpful for the diagnosis of diabetes and cancer.

What is the Cost of a Blood Panel in a Senior Dog?

All of these blood and urine tests in dogs can cost you around $150 to $450 on average depending on what part of the country you live in, the speed at which the tests are needed, and more.


A comprehensive blood panel is a common vet exam. It is a great way to see how your senior dog is doing. It can show things like kidney or liver function, sugar levels, and other issues.

The vet will take a sample of blood and check a few of its basic functions.

The blood panel can help you determine if your dog is in good health and its organs are functioning properly. Your vet may also be able to catch a problem before it becomes too serious. A senior blood panel will give you peace of mind that your dog is doing well.

By Dr. Monica Tarantino


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