Preanesthetic Blood Testing
 
To ensure that your pet can properly process and eliminate anesthetic agents, we recommend and highly encourage that your pet have pre-anesthetic blood testing performed prior to any anesthetic procedure. These tests confirm that your pet's organs are functioning properly. The tests also reveal hidden health conditions that could put your pet at risk.

This is especially important for older pets. Older pets are more likely to have organ problems. Pre-anesthetic blood work can reveal evidence of underlying and hidden disease. If the results are normal, we can proceed with the anesthetic procedure. If the results are abnormal, we may simply need to alter the type of anesthesia used or run further tests to determine the extent of the problem and initiate treatment. While there is no guarantee that blood testing will reveal an illness the pet may have, the pre-anesthetic blood work still allows us to catch a problem early.

Pre-anesthetic blood work is also important for our younger pets. Some pets are born with genetic or congenital organ problems that may not show until later in life. These conditions can be worsened by anesthesia. The pre-anesthetic blood work allows us to catch these problems early and avoid exacerbation of the pet's condition with anesthesia.

Here at Balfour Animal Hospital, we require all pets over the age of eight to have blood work run prior to any anesthetic procedure. We also recommend this blood work prior to all dental cleanings. It is highly recommended that pets of all ages, even puppies and kittens, have this blood work run as well.

There are two blood panels that we run for pre-anesthetic blood work. Age and the procedure to be performed dictate which panel is run. A six panel chemistry and CBC are run on younger pets and for most routine procedures (spay, neuter, declaw, etc.) A twelve chemistry/CBC/electrolyte panel is performed for older pets and more complicated, non-routine procedures.


Components of a Six Panel Chemistry and CBC Test

  • Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT): Liver enzyme that becomes elevated with liver disease or injury
  • Alkaline Phosphatase (Alk Phos): Mainly a liver enzyme which can be elevated due to liver disease, Cushing's disease, steroid therapy, cholestasis, etc.
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN): High levels indicate kidney disease or dehydration.  Low levels can be associated with liver disease.
  • Creatinine: High leves can indicate kidney disease, dehydration, or urinary tract obstruction
  • Blood Glucose: High levels can indicate diabetes mellitus. Low levels can indicate hypoglycemia, liver disease, and certain tumors.

 Components of a Twelve Panel Chemistry/CBC/Electrolyte Test

  • Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT): Liver enzyme that becomes elevated with liver disease or injury
  • Alkaline Phosphatase (Alk Phos): Mainly a liver enzyme which can be elevated due to liver disease, Cushing's disease, steroid therapy, cholestasis, etc.
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN): High levels indicate kidney disease or dehydration. Low levels can be associated with liver disease.
  • Creatinine: High levels can indicate kidney disease, dehydration, or urinary tract obstruction.
  • Blood Glucose: High levels can indicate diabetes mellitus. Low levels can indicate hypoglycemia, liver disease, and certain tumors.
  • Total Protein: An abnormal level can indicate several problems such as dehydration or disease of the liver, kidney, or intestinal disorders.
  • Albumin: this is a protein produced by the liver. Low levels can indicate chronic liver, kidney, or intestinal disorders.
  • Amylase: Elevated values can indicate pancreatitis. Low levels can indicate lack of production of this pancreas enzyme.
  • Calcium: Increased levels can indicate disease of the parathyroid gland, kidneys, or certain tumors.
  • Phosphorus: Elevated value can indicate kidney disease.
  • Total Bilirubin: This level can indicate liver disease or help characterize anemia.
  • Cholesterol: This value can be elevated with a variety of disorders including hypothyroidism, liver disease, and kidney disease.
  • Packed Cell Volume (PCV): This indicates the amount of red blood cells in whole blood. A low value indicates anemia.
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): this provides information about your pet's white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Abnormalities on this panel may indicate an anemia, bleeding disorder, infection, leukemia, inflammation, etc. If an anemic or low platelet count is present, your pet could experience serious surgical complications.
  • Electrolytes: This includes sodium, potassium, and chloride; the balance of these is vital to your pet's health.  Abnormal values can be life-threatening to your pet.  We use this test to evaluate vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and cardiac symptoms.