How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16534
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Type Your Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Kara is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I recently had a check-up done for my cat, and the vet that

This answer was rated:

Good afternoon,I recently had a check-up done for my cat, and the vet that saw Rico stated that his lab work came back fine. I just received the lab work through and email and he had some abnormalities:Amylase- 1,312 High
Albumin- 4.5 High
Osmolality- 287.5 Low
Neutrophil- 78.3 High
Lymphocytes- 15.1 Low
Platelet (Autom)- 54 LowHe is up-to-date on his shots and he acts like a normal cat as far as energy. He's just sensitive to certain foods and he's also a fussy eater; recently he doesn't eat as much, but he acts normal.Should I be concerned with his lab results?Thank you,Sean

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.

I understand that you are concerned because although your veterinarian said your kitty was fine there are some laboratory values that are outside the "normal" range. It would be helpful to know normals for the laboratory that your veterinarian uses, but I can make some general comments.

I'll address them in order:

Amylase- 1,312 High Amylase in cats comes from many sources, including the pancreas, liver and intestine. The different types of enzymes are called isoenzymes, and the lab test measures the total amount in the blood. It does NOT differentiate between the isoenzymes. Because of that fact alone it is unreliable as a single test result, and we usually ignore these results. Cats with liver, pancreatic or intestinal disease (inflammation) can have high levels. A more specific, much better, test for pancreatitis in cats is a test called a fel spec PL (feline specific pancreatic lipase) as it tells us that the isoenzyme measured is from the pancreas.

Because your fellow has food sensitivities I suspect that his higher than usual amount is due to intestinal sources (inflammation secondary to food sensitivities).
Albumin- 4.5 High This is a blood protein produced by the liver. It can be high due to dehydration, or simply because cats tend to be poor drinkers. This is not really very high, and I suspect it may be a few 10ths of a point above normal, really of no concern.
Osmolality- 287.5 Low This is a measure of dissolved particles (particularly salts, and glucose) in the blood. A higher than usual reading is not uncommon in cats, and likely just says he isn't drinking as much as we would like.
Neutrophil- 78.3 High Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell. They tend to increase in numbers in stressful situations (at the veterinarian, getting blood drawn) and with infections/inflammation. The amount here is likely a percentage based upon the number of total white blood cells counted, which really isn't that helpful. We look at total numbers to see how concerned we need to be. For example if he has 100,000 white blood cells (way too many) & 78.3% were neutrophils that would point toward massive infection/cancer/inflammation and we would be very, very worried. If he has 8,000 white blood cells and 78.3% (6,264) are neutrophils then that is perfectly normal.
Lymphocytes- 15.1 Low This is another type of white blood cell, and it is likely a percentage too, rather than a real number. Lymphocytes tend to be at a lower in percent in stressful situations, if only because neutrophils are released as a stress response. But I would bet total counted cell numbers are normal.
Platelet (Autom)- 54 Low I doubt this is real. Platelets are responsible for forming blood clots and are very sticky cells. They tend to clump together and with a machine (thus noted as automated here) several platelets clumped together are counted as one cell. Generally we have a technician go back and reread the slide manually making sure that there are large clumps of platelets, and thus normal numbers. If his numbers were truly that low we should see bruises and bleeding into urine, stool the chest and abdomen. He would NOT feel fine.

Your kitty's sensitive stomach was be related to food allergies/sensitivities and that may mean he has IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). That will change his appetite. It is best to feed these kitties a hypoallergenic or low irritant food and avoid treats.

If he is losing weight, vomiting frequently or has chronic loose stools then a fel spec pancreatic lipase blood test, and biopsies of his intestinal tract could be helpful in diagnosing his condition and coming up with a treatment plan.

Sorry typo there (autocorrect seems rarely to be correct!):

"Your kitty's sensitive stomach is likely related..."

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Here are the normal ranges according to the lab report:Amylase- 110-1,225 U/L
Albumin- 2.5-3.9 g/dL
Osmolality- 299-330 mOsm/kg
Neutrophil- 35-75 %
Lymphocytes- 20-55 %
Platelet- 200-700 x1000/uL

Thank you, ***** ***** of these values are very mildly off and can easily be explained by stress, individual variation and a kitty that isn't taking in enough fluids. Perhaps feeding canned food (which is very high in moisture content) would be beneficial.

The only value that I really see as off is the platelet numbers. If he is not symptomatic (no bleeding or bruising) that is likely a false read due to clumping, but I would ask that the slide be manually reviewed to make sure.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok great I will call the vet office in regards ***** ***** platelets. I've noticed with the wet food he licks up the juices and leaves the meat behind.

Well at least he is getting fluids that way. You can add warm broth to the food too to make it soupy, that may stimulate his appetite, and should get him better hydrated.

Some cats have a real texture preference for food. They specifically will only eat kibble or canned, meaty foods.

These are often cats that were only fed wet food or dry kibble as young kittens and as adults don't like the texture of canned, meaty food or dry food, depending upon what they were weaned to or grew up on.

It is hard to change texture preferences so we sometimes have to work with it as best we can (adding broth to food, offering water via a kitty water fountain).

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Okay great thank you for the help Dr. Any recommendations for wet food for cats that may have IBD?

It will depend upon what triggers his irritation.

The safest foods will be prescription hypoallergenic (Hills z/d, Royal Canin single protein, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA), or low residue foods like Hills i/d or Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN.

Dr. Kara and 2 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Okay I will give them a try and see if one helps out. Thank you for your time and advice.