High Globulin Levels in Dogs

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High Globulin Levels in Dogs
Globulin tests help veterinarians diagnose disease. (Spritze image by Martina Taylor from Fotolia.com)

When an ill pet is examined by a veterinarian it is common for a veterinary chemistry panel, also known as a biochemical profile, to be ordered. This battery of blood-based tests, including a globulin test, helps the veterinarian determine and confirm specific medical conditions that are not visible during a physical exam of the dog.

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Definition

Globulins are produced by the dog's immune system. They work to fight off bacteria and viruses to keep the pet healthy, according to Doctors Foster and Smith's Pet Education website. In essence, globulins are antibodies. The normal range for globulin levels in a dog is 2.1 to 3.7g/dl. High levels of the disease fighting globulin proteins indicate inflammation or infection.

Causes

When a dog tests high in globulin he may have allergies, arthritis, blood diseases, diabetes, heart or liver disease. Elevated levels of globulin also indicates stress and dehydration, according to the Canine Cancer website.

Testing

Testing a dog's globulin levels is one half of a total blood protein test. The second half of the test measures albumin levels. Test results are presented with the range for "normal" readings and the patient's results for comparison. A rise in the total blood protein level or individual globulin levels is cause for concern and warrants further investigation by the veterinarian.

Time Frame

Modern veterinary clinics often have on-site laboratories where blood and urine tests can be performed. Smaller clinics may send veterinary chemistry panels to a local lab or human hospital for analysis. Results can be ready by the end of a 30 minute consultation, or in a few days, depending on the veterinary clinic's access to a lab.

Follow-Up

When high globulin levels are determined, more testing may be necessary. Biopsies of major organs, additional blood tests and urine tests may be ordered. Since globulin tests provide essential functioning information about the liver, kidneys and digestive system, these areas are likely to be the focus of further investigation. Once a physical exam, blood tests and past medical charts have been studied, a diagnosis can be presented and treatment options will be explored.

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