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Why is Pre-Anesthetic Blood Testing Important?

Our greatest concern is for the health and safety of our patients.  In addition to the full physical exam, the blood tests are another key diagnostic tool we can use to help identify underlying medical conditions including, but not limited to, liver and kidney problems, blood disorders, existing infections/inflammation, diabetes, and other endocrine disorders.

Not only are these test very important in our older pets, whose body functions can diminish with age, but also, they can be very useful to help identify early genetic or congenital problems of the kidneys, liver or other organs in young kittens and puppies.  These are often undetectable until a time when their systems are challenged by a stressor, such as an anesthetic procedure.

Having knowledge of these situations prior to anesthesia may alter our protocols or even raise enough concern to cancel the anesthesia/procedure, as this higher risk may warrant further evaluation before proceeding.

In addition, all blood values are very important in evaluating the overall health of the internal organs responsible for processing and eliminating the anesthetics and medications given for these procedures.   In other words, these blood tests truly give invaluable information as to the internal health of our pets.

Our Mini Health Screen ($65) consists of the 6 blood chemistry values and a Packed Cell Volume (PCV):

  • BUN and Creatinine are measured as an indication of kidney function
  • Alt and Alk Phos are measured to evaluate the health of the liver
  • Blood Glucose indicates overall health as well as an indicator for diabetes and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Total Protein evaluates for existing inflammation, overall general health, hydration levels
  • Packed Cell Volume evaluates anemia, overall general health, hydration levels

This profile is provided for those wishing to do the very minimal blood testing available to help minimize the risks associated with anesthesia.

Our Basic General Health Screen ($80) consists of a Mini Health Screen with the addition of a Complete Blood Cell count (CBC) and  Electrolyte panel:

Blood Chemistries(includes above as well as):

  • Complete Blood Cell count (CBC) evaluates levels of Red (anemia, hydration) and White blood cells (may indicate existing inflammation and/or infection, globulins, evaluates immune system) and a platelet count.
  • Electrolytes (K+, Na+, Cl-) give further evaluation of endocrine and metabolic processes.

This is the profile that we recommend for all of our surgical patients.  It gives a basic overview of many of the processes and organs used specifically to process and eliminate the medications and anesthetics used for our procedures.

Our Comprehensive Health Profile ($98) consists of the Basic General Health Screen:

  • Blood Chemistries, the CBC, and Electrolytes (as above):
  • Plus an additional 6 chemistry values

This profile is offered to add an expanded health profile for our patients.  This panel is recommended for older pets (greater than 5), for pets that have had illnesses in the recent past or for those having ongoing medical issues.  It is always for any of our clients wishing for a more comprehensive blood evaluation for their pets, as this information is invaluable and can be used as a baseline normal for your healthy pet’s permanent health records.

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