Preanesthetic Blood Work

Here at Airdrie Animal Health Centre, we offer pre-anesthetic blood to all our patients that are coming to see us for surgery. From puppies/kittens that are coming in for their spays and neuters to the geriatrics. Your pet receives a full physical exam from making sure your pet is healthy physically, but we cannot put our stethoscopes to their kidneys and livers like we do when we auscultate their hearts and lungs. Blood work is the window to the inside to see if the organs are healthy and functioning properly.

Veterinarians depend on laboratory test results to help them understand the status of your pet’s health. The results can help confirm the presence of illness and rule out others that may put your pet at risk during anesthesia and surgery. When your pet is healthy, and we run blood work it can give us “baseline values” for if/when your pets are sick the veterinarian can easily determine how abnormal by comparing them to your pet’s baseline.

Bloodwork before surgery also gives the veterinarian a chance to potentially alter their typical drug protocol for sedation and anesthesia to a combination of different medications that are safer for your specific pet. Every drug has its side effects, and we want the best outcome possible for you and your pet.

We recommend having blood work done a couple of days before your scheduled surgery, but we are equipped to do blood work the same day as well. The veterinarian may recommend many different laboratory tests based on your pets physical. Some of the most common tests are:

Complete Blood Count (CBC)
The CBC shows a veterinarian your pet’s hydration status, anemia, infection, blood clotting ability and immune system response. It can also detect bleeding disorders or other unseen abnormalities. A CBC is essential if your pets have symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, pale gums or loss of appetite.

Blood Chemistry Panel
Blood chemistry panel’s measure electrolytes, enzymes that show how various organs such as kidneys, liver, pancreas and thyroid are functioning.

Analysis of your pet’s urine is a tool used to detect the presence of one or more specific substances that normally do not appear in urine such as protein, glucose, blood and white blood cells as well as a measurement of the concentration of the urine which evaluates kidney function. Doing a urinalysis also helps in the diagnosis of UTI’s (urinary tract infections), diabetes, dehydration, and many other conditions.

Thyroid (T4)
Given that thyroid disease is common, especially in older pets, we use this in our senior panels to help diagnose hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

We offer two pre-anesthetic panels:

  • Routine Pre-anesthetic panel
    • Complete Blood Count and Blood Chemistry panel (kidneys and liver)
    • Which we recommend in our patients’ ages four months to six years.
  • Senior Pre-anesthetic Panel
    • Complete Blood Count, Blood chemistry panel (kidney, liver, pancreas), thyroid, and urinalysis.
    • Which we recommend in our patients that are >7 years.

Written by: Tanya Cajina, Registered Veterinary Technician