How Much Does Cat Blood Work Cost?
Cat blood work is done by extracting a certain amount of blood from the cat and performing a number of tests to produce any relevant findings. This type of test for your cat will help you discover possible diseases and can also guide the veterinarian with a diagnosis to create a treatment plan for the future. The most common blood tests run will include FeLV/FIV, total thyroid level, serum chemistry and CBC.
How much is it?
- The average prices for basic cat blood work ranges anywhere from $55 to $175 per test. It greatly depends on the type of test and how many tests are needed for your pet. Routine annual blood tests, which are recommended by some veterinarians, may charge $200 to $250 for the complete test, but as one physician notes, the odds of anything that would save your cat’s life are extremely low. An in-house blood screen and chemistry screen could be as low as $75, while something more extensive such as screening for a disease for at-risk cat could be much more.
- One forum member on The Cat Site noted she was quoted $200 to $225 for a blood work test for her cat to determine if the cat’s calcium levels were high. Another forum member on that same forum stated she paid $120 for a FIP, Felv and FIV test.
- The reasons cat blood work can be so expensive, according to Dr. B on JustAnswer.com, is due to the special machines that are dedicated to testing animal blood. These machines will be much different than one that tests human blood, and companies that sell them may charge more since less labs create them.
What is going to be included?
- During the procedure, the vet will take a small blood sample from the cat. If the vet can’t get an accurate result, then anesthesia will have to be administered. Once the blood sample has been drawn, the vet will send it off the lab for further testing. Depending on the procedure and if the vet has an in-house lab, some results can be seen right on the spot.
- Unless your vet has an in-house lab, the blood work will be shipped off, and typically, you will receive the results in 48 to 72 hours.
Common cat blood tests
|Type of Test||Description|
|CBC||This test will measure your cat's white blood cell count.|
|Critical Care Profile||This is a standard blood test often performed before a cat goes under the knife for a surgical procedure. This test will help determine if the cat is healthy enough to go under anesthesia.|
|Glucose Check||This is a fast blood, usually done within seconds, to test to check a cat's glucose level.|
|PCV||A quick test that's able to check your cat's red blood cell percentage. It can offer an idea if a disease is present.|
|Serum Chemistry||This test measures your cat's organ enzymes, blood proteins and electrolytes. If the vet has to send to outside lab, it could take up to two to three days to get results.|
|Standard||This is a test that will combine the serum chemistry, T4 levels and CBC all into one test. This test will require about 2ccs of blood.|
|Total Proteins||A blood test that will determine if the cat's blood proteins are elevated. It can determine if the is dehydrated or has a systemic inflammatory condition.|
|T4 Thyroid||This test measures your cat's T4 thyroid hormone levels.|
What are the extra costs?
- If the vet has to send out the bloodwork to an outside lab, this could be an additional fee. On the other hand, if the vet has their own lab within in their facility, a lab fee may apply, but this will greatly depend on their billing procedure/policy. Even if the vet has a lab in house, they may send it out to a third party to help save on time, and it could be a cheap option for them, which could be passed down to you as a customer.
Tips to know
- Most vets will recommend that cats, once they turn about seven years old, get routine blood tests every year for prevenantive purposes. Almost always, bloodwork will be required before a cat is given an anesthetic or dental cleaning.
How can I save money?
- Even if you have a reputable vet who you trust, it doesn’t hurt to call a few more for a second opinion and/or a quote over the phone. If you know exactly what you need to have done, most vets will be able to offer a ballpark estimate over the phone.
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