Pre-anaesthetic Blood Testing

At the Box Hill Veterinary Hospital, we pride ourselves on the level of care and safety we are able to provide for our patients, especially when general anaesthetics are necessary. However, there is a risk with any general anesthetic procedure, and one of the services we offer to help minimise this risk is pre-anaesthetic blood testing.

 
Although a thorough physical examination is conducted on every patient before they have any form of anaesthesia or sedation, internal organ problems may not be detectable through this procedure. Thus, we recommend a pre-anaesthetic profile for all sick, debilitated or aging animals which require an anaesthetic. We are also willing to perform the tests at the owner's request for younger animals undergoing anaesthesia.
 
The pre-anaesthetic blood test involves obtaining a small amount of the patient's blood, dividing the sample, then running biochemical and volumetric tests to establish organ functions. For anaesthetics, we are particularly concerned with kidney and liver capabilities, in addition to red blood cell and electrolyte concentrations.
 
Pre-anaesthetic blood testing
 
Thus, not only can we determine with greater accuracy how your pet will cope with an anaesthetic procedure, but we also obtain information which can be used for the longer-term medical management of your animal.
 

What if abnormalities are detected?

 
If abnormal test results are obtained, one of our Veterinary Surgeons will discuss these with you before you decide whether to continue with the planned procedure. Depending on the nature of the abnormality, it may still be possible to perform the surgery with an altered anaesthetic regime and/or by instituting supportive therapy (such as intravenous fluids) for the duration of the anaesthetic.
 
Where test results show potential long-term problems for your pet, we can advise you whether further diagnostic testing or medication may be required.
 

What if all results are normal?

 
Wonderful! We are able to proceed more confidently with the surgery, knowing that the anaesthetic is even less likely to cause problems. It also gives us a record of your pet's normal values to compare with any changes that may develop in the future.
 

Need more information?

 
One of our staff would be happy to discuss with you any concerns you have about your pet undergoing an anaesthetic, and whether pre-anaesthetic testing would be recommended.
 
We have brochures describing each of the tests in the pre-anaesthetic test panel, as well as for some of the other blood testing we routinely conduct at our Hospitals. Please ask one of our receptionists for a copy of this information if you are interested.
 
Further information about all of the blood pathology services we offer can be found on our Blood Pathology Services page.