The families of all pets that come in for a procedure involving an anaesthetic are offered the option of a pre-anaesthetic blood test. This is a basic profile that is run in-clinic on the day of your pet’s anaesthetic that is used to assess their liver health, kidney health, glucose levels, level of hydration and blood cell numbers. The results of this test are useful to the veterinarian to make your pet’s anaesthetic as safe as possible. Depending on results, your veterinarian may alter dosages of anaesthetic agents, switch anaesthetic agents, increase intravenous fluid rates, recommend further testing, or delay a procedure.
Older patients (especially those over seven years of age) particularly benefit from the pre-anaesthetic blood test, because they often have age-related changes in liver and kidneys that can change the way that anaesthetic drugs affect them. We strongly recommend these blood tests for all patients over seven years of age so that we can identify those potential changes and ensure that their anaesthetic is as safe as possible.
If your pet has been unwell prior to an anaesthetic, please let our staff know. If they are in for an elective procedure (desexing, lump removal or dental), your veterinarian may prefer to delay their procedure until they are feeling well again, or may recommend further blood testing (samples sent for analysis at a laboratory) in the days leading up to the anaesthetic.
In-clinic pre-anaesthetic blood tests are run on the day of your pet’s procedure. A small patch of fur is clipped over the neck or leg to collect the blood sample. The sample is analysed and interpreted by a veterinarian before administering any sedatives or anaesthetics to your pet. If your veterinarian feels that there is an issue that should urgently be discussed with you, they will call you to discuss results before the procedure. It is important to keep your phone handy on the day of the procedure so that you can be reached if needed. If there are minor changes, your vet may discuss them with you when you come in to pick up your pet in the afternoon.
The pre-anaesthetic blood test is $80, and can provide vital information on your pet’s health and help to ensure that their anaesthetic is as safe as possible.