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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.
Alkaline Phosphatase (Alk Phos): Mainly a liver enzyme which can be elevated due to liver disease, Cushing's disease, steroid therapy, cholestasis, etc.
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.
Packed Cell Volume (PCV): This indicates the amount of red blood cells in whole blood. A low value indicates anemia.