Lately we at Tallebudgera Vets have seen a few cases of young apparently healthy puppy and kittens having severe changes on their blood work.
These pets have checked out completely normal during a physical exam but something sinister was going on inside.
Even though we use the safest medications available; if these abnormalities were not detected via blood test there is a high chance the anaesthetic could have been very difficult and very risky.
Why does my vet want to do a blood test before surgery on my young, apparently healthy dog?
- It helps determine that the patient’s kidneys and liver are functioning properly in order to handle anaesthesia.
- It can help to identify pre-existing conditions not evident from a physical exam, which may hinder the patient’s ability to handle the procedure.
- It ensures that the blood can carry adequate oxygen to tissues to stop bleeding and fight infection.
- It allows for comparison of blood values in the future if your pet becomes unwell.
What are you testing?
Routine blood testing typically includes a complete blood count (CBC) and a serum biochemistry profile; these tests provide a wealth of important information about a pet’s health status.
Complete Blood Count – this simple test analyses the cellular components of blood. These include red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues, white blood cells, which fight infection and respond to inflammation, and platelets, which help the blood to clot. The CBC provides details about the number, size, and shape of the various cells types, as well as any abnormalities that may be present.
If there are deficiencies in the red cells, white cells or platelets, or there are abnormal cells present, then anaesthesia and surgery should be delayed, if possible, until the underlying problem is corrected.
Serum Biochemistry Profile – this is a series of tests performed on serum, which is a major component of blood. These tests provide information about how well the various organs of the body are working. Each test provides details about a specific organ or metabolic disease. For example, there are tests to assess the function of the liver, kidney, and pancreas, and tests to identify the presence of diabetes, etc.).
Major abnormalities, especially involving the liver or kidney, or evidence of serious metabolic disease would justify delaying anesthesia and surgery until the underlying problem was corrected.
Additional Testing – there are a number of additional tests that may be performed, either as part of routine preparations, or in response to some irregularity, deficiency or abnormality identified on physical examination or routine blood testing.