Pre-anesthetic blood work has become somewhat of a standard in human medicine practices. Doctors want to make sure there aren't any underlying problems that aren’t physically noticeable in the patient or if the patient hasn’t noticed the symptoms of yet.
In veterinary medicine, our patients don’t have the capability of telling us anything, whether they’re feeling the symptoms or not. This can often result in not finding internal diseases or injuries until they have progressed to extreme levels. Often this is due to the fact that the survival instinct in animals influences them to hide if they are having any problems. Due to those factors, animals that appear to be functioning normally and completely healthy on a physical exam might have some internal issues that affect how they will react to anesthetic and surgery.
Having abnormal blood results doesn’t necessarily mean that your pet can’t undergo the scheduled surgery that day. One of the reason’s pre-anesthetic blood work is so important is that normal levels can vary from pet to pet and the blood work can help establish a baseline that is unique to your pet, which is especially important in catching subtle changes that could have a large influence on the direction your pet’s care takes.
The pre-anesthetic blood work does not take the place of a physical exam but coupled with the exam can help us determine a specialized approach to the surgery and anesthetic-specific to your pet. The blood work may be done same-day and is done in-house to assure that your pet is stable and healthy for surgery. Blood cell counts can change in hours, or even minutes, which is why the same-day blood work is helpful to ensure that we have the most accurate and up-to-date information on your pet so that we may provide the best care possible.
Pre-anesthetic blood work does not completely eliminate the risks of anesthesia, but it does minimize the risks and can help you be certain that your pet is getting the best care possible tailored specifically to your pet’s individual needs.
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