Why Is My Dog Or Cat's Icterus Index High ?


Ron Hines DVM PhD

To see what normal blood and urine values are, go here

For an explanation of causes of most abnormal blood and urine tests, go here

To see how tests are grouped, go here

The Icterus Index Of Your Pet’s Blood = A Measure Of Jaundice

Also read similar topics: Jaundice, Bilirubin, Urobilinogen, Bilirubin in urine)



When your pet’s blood sample is sent to a laboratory for a blood chemistry analysis (using chemical diazo reagents combined with oxidative changes and spectrophotometry) its bilirubin content is determined automatically.

There are times when the amount of hemolysis, fatty substances, turbidity or excessive heparin anticoagulant in the blood sample can affect your pet’s bilirubin test results.

The icterus index also measures the amount of bilirubin in your pet’s blood. It is a simpler test, based on the color that bilirubin imparts to blood serum. It does not appear to be affected by the issues I mentioned previously. It is a very old test – no longer offered by the labs I use.

When the total bilirubin values obtained by more modern methods do not come close to matching the icterus index, one might suspect that the values provided by the more modern analyzers were inaccurate and needed to be repeated.