Pre-Anaesthetic Blood Test: What is it and why do we do it?
We know that dropping your pet off at the vet for either essential or routine surgery can be daunting. Clients are usually concerned about the safety of anaesthetics, based on what they have read or what others have told them. It is true no anaesthetic is 100% risk free; however, anaesthesia in small animals is very safe today, and can be even safer by taking extra precautions. One such precaution we can take is running a pre-anaesthetic blood test. A pre-anaesthetic blood test is a blood test we perform before your pet undergoes surgery. This test is run in house (at the clinic), so it can be done on the same day as the scheduled surgery. We generally recommend this blood test to young animals (i.e. puppies and kittens undergoing their first surgery) and also senior pets (over 7 years old), as a pre-anaesthetic blood test can pick up health problems that a physical examination cannot achieve by itself. In young animals, it can show if they have any congenital issues (e.g. liver shunt, blood diseases such as haemophilia) and in senior pets, organ failure and other diseases can be detected. Some of these conditions can be present in animals that appear bright and happy; so whilst you may think your pet is healthy, there might be something internally that could put them at risk when they undergo surgery. A pre-anaesthetic blood test therefore enables the vet to tailor the anaesthetic to suit the specific needs of each patient. So if you have a puppy or kitten coming in for their first surgery, or if your senior pet has to undergo a procedure, consider running a blood test beforehand to minimise the risks, and to also give you peace of mind that your beloved pet is receiving the best care possible.