#36 Blood Tests: All You Need to Know?

Are regular blood tests on your animal giving you a false sense of security?

Might there be better ways to suss out your animal’s health status?

Tune in to hear how a homeopathic vet thinks about these tests and even better, suggests something that’s even more powerful. And costs nothing out of pocket!

These freebies were here long before we got all fancy with measuring blood, taking radiographs and doing MRIs or ultrasounds.

These “measures” are really at the heart of our survival as a species!

Listen up and you’ll get the drop on your animal’s clues about her health well in advance of things changing in her blood.

That adds up to getting some valuable treatment started earlier: always a great idea to prevent suffering.

Links for this episode

Episode 24: Symptoms, Wildly Misunderstood by Your Vet

A helpful page with more on symptoms (some of which will surprise you!)

Put those symptoms to best use: find a homeopathic vet to cure your animal from my Recommended Resources page. You’ll see a video near the AVH list that walks you through how to choose a qualified one, even if that’s at a distance.

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Let us know in the comments below if you’ve learned something from this episode or have questions about symptoms. Bonus points if you’re keeping a symptom diary on your pets!


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  1. Leah on July 4, 2021 at 6:26 am

    I will never do annual bloodwork again. My cat Sasha had annual bloodwork. He also had an enlarged thyroid gland on a physical exam. Over the course of 12 months, Sasha had 5 SMDA tests and 3 renal panels. I was told that he went from stage 2 to 3 kidney disease over that 12 month period in spite of medication.

    Here is where it gets interesting. Sasha was not symptomatic for kidney disease. He was symptomatic for hyperthyrodism. The vets put him on Calcitriol. That did nothing. Then he was on Semintra. That did nothing. Of course it didn’t. He did NOT have protienura. He did NOT have kidney disease.

    In my experience, vets are quick to upsell all things kidney. It’s a money maker for them. I have also learned that bloodwork is useless if the vet does not have any diagnostic skills. Too many of them are trained to memorize a number. And that is more dangerous than not having bloodwork done. Because misdiagnosis happens.

    In Sasha’s case, his hyperthyrodism was affecting his kidneys. And knowing what I know now, his kidneys would have been just fine had the root of the cause, hyperthyroidism been treated.

  2. 4leg family first on June 28, 2021 at 12:42 am

    Dr…thank you again for another great episode and pieces of information.

    But we could use lots of help to bridge the gap from observing symptoms and then taking the necessary action, steps, in finding appropriate clinics/homeopaths/practitioners, please.

    Could an easily understandable and viewed page or episode be done to emphasize how to find a homeopath, or any other type of pet Dr we might consider, such as naturopath, etc, please?

    It seems it is quite challenging to find such practitioners, and those who are taking on new clients. We need help please.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 28, 2021 at 10:00 am

      Yes, I outline how to choose a qualified homeopathic vet in the link above, also here: Recommended Resources page. I prefer homeopathic vets over “holistic” vets because they’ve got specific training in a well researched modality and those who meet my criteria are going to be able to cure chronic disease, the commonest diseases we all deal with today.

      On the page, you scroll down to the AVH list, and watch the video linked there. I walk you through the process. Key to note: your homeopathic vet can work from a distance via phone appointments. We are simply too few at this point to be everywhere.

  3. Lisa Rosamino on June 22, 2021 at 5:40 pm

    Dear Dr Will,
    Another great and informative podcast! Thank you! I had a female German Shepherd that had blood drawn when she was about 13 yo and the allopathic vet informed me she was in early renal failure and my holistic vet took a look at the bloodwork and told me that she wasn’t and that her bloodwork was good and explained that a raw fed dog’s bloodwork can be different than a kibble fed dog. I would assume kibble fed dog’s bloodwork would be the baseline for what the vets consider normal bloodwork? Interesting ! 🙂

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 24, 2021 at 8:44 pm

      Good catch, Lisa. And your vet (the 2nd one) caught the connection: sometimes raw fed dogs with have an increase in a kidney value called BUN. It’s simply because they are finally on high quality, fully usable protein, and the N stands for nitrogen, a metabolite of digesting meat.

      So yes, kibble fed animals is likely a very sick baseline for most blood work. We have to read results with this in mind.

      • Leah on July 4, 2021 at 6:32 am

        This is also true for urine specific gravity. It frustrates me to no end that some vets memorize numbers without any context. An animal that is fed kibble will have a higher urine specific gravity. A raw fed animal will have a lower urine specific gravity.

        And the range for what is healthy that vets memorize must be based on kibble. Because that number is way to high and is not always reflective of perfectly functioning kidneys.

  4. Tara on June 22, 2021 at 10:25 am

    I had a vet tell me that kidney function would be reduced to 25% before any symptoms showed up, hence the need for blood tests. But I don’t believe she had any treatments to offer other than prescription food for chronic kidney failure, so the testing wouldn’t be much of a net benefit.
    I did have a dog who went in for a surgery after a paw injury at the age of two and the pre-anesthetic blood test showed elevated kidney values. Subsequent xrays and ultrasound showed one severely enlarged and non-functional kidney. The dog had never shown any symptom of any kind of illness so I was shocked. We never knew if it had been an acute blockage or a genetic defect, but I put her on a home-prepared low oxalate moderate protein diet for the rest of her life. She eventually died of CHF, exacerbated I believe by repeated vaccinations. I won’t make that mistake again.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 22, 2021 at 10:44 am

      Thanks for sharing that, Tara. A two year old with one enlarged kidney sounds most like a defect in development, but you did great with your home cooking. And yes, now that you know what you know about vaccinations, you’re not likely to overdo those ever again.


    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 24, 2021 at 8:48 pm

      Also, not quite right from that vet (or maybe you heard it wrong). The truth is this: by the time the BUN and creatinine are both high, it often means 80% of the kidney tissue is compromised and irreparable. But the corollary is this: symptoms will show much, much earlier! More thirst, more urine.

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