Pre-Anesthetic Testing – Why it’s so important to your pets health!
Pre-anesthetic testing helps us care for your pet. When you place your pet in our hands, you trust us to provide your pet with the best possible medical care. You expect us to provide you with advice which will allow you to make the best decision for your pet. In order to offer you the peace of mind you deserve, we recommend pre-anesthetic testing prior to placing your pet under anesthesia.
As in human medicine, the anesthetics available for anesthetizing our companion pets are extremely safe. As a result, the anesthetic risk is greatly minimized when a “healthy” pet is placed under anesthesia. However, if your pet is not “healthy,” complications can occur both during and after the anesthetic procedure. Therefore, in order to minimize potential risk associated with anesthesia, it is vital for us to know the complete health status of your pet before placing him or her under anesthesia.
Prior to anesthesia, we will obtain a complete history and perform a detailed physical exam on your pet. While a history and physical exam provide us with important information about your pet’s health, it is impossible to understand the complete physiological picture without performing other tests.
In most cases, if a pet appears “healthy” based on history and physical exam, an anesthetic procedure will be uneventful. However, unlike humans, pets cannot tell us when they do not feel well and as a result of animals’ instinct to protect themselves, oftentimes sick pets will “hide” their illness. Therefore, an animal’s appearance of health may be misleading. For example, a pet can lose up to 75 % of kidney function prior to showing any signs of illness. To understand your pet’s “overall” health it is crucial to derive additional information through testing prior to anesthesia.
If the results of the pre-anesthetic tests are within normal ranges, we can proceed with confidence knowing the anesthetic risk is minimized. On the other hand, if the results are not within the normal ranges, we may alter the anesthetic procedure. In some cases, we may proceed as planned, yet provide medical support during and after the procedure to ensure your pet’s health. In other cases, the test abnormalities may be significant enough to postpone the procedure in order to monitor and medically treat your pet.
Although performing these tests cannot guarantee the absence of complications, it can significantly minimize the risk to your pet and provide you and us with peace of mind.
These are some of the tests which may be recommended for your pet:
Blood chemistry tests provide information concerning your pet s vital organs such as the kidneys, liver, pancreas, thyroid, parathyroid and intestinal tract. These tests can also indicate conditions such as anemia and dehydration as well as endocrine diseases and certain types of tumors.
Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC)
The CBC provides information concerning the various types of blood cells. The red blood cells (RBC’s) carry oxygen to the tissue of the body. White blood cells (WBC’s) are the body s primary defense against infection. Platelets play a major role in the blood clotting process and are essential for halting the bleeding process.
The urinalysis provides important information about the functioning capacity of the kidneys. In addition, the urine contains by-products from many organs and abnormal levels of these by-products can indicate disease such as liver and kidney disease or diabetes.
In order to maintain life, the appropriate balance of electrolytes is vital. Certain diseases or conditions may result in electrolyte imbalances that could compromise a pet’s health and ultimately become life threatening.
Depending on your pets age, history and physical exam, an EKG (electrocardiogram) or serum thyroid levels may be recommended.