Pre-Anesthetic Testing Recommendations for Safety and Peace of Mind

Posted In: Feline Health & Wellness, Canine Health & Wellness

If your pet is scheduled for a procedure that requires general anesthesia, we recommend pre-anesthetic testing.

Pre-anesthetic blood work is a lot like a weather forecast. It is designed to help you plan for what lies ahead. Depending on the circumstances, you might want a very detailed forecast of the weather, or just a general overview of the day ahead. 

The same holds true with pre-anesthetic blood work. For young healthy pets expected to undergo a short procedure, a simple blood panel will likely be sufficient. For certain breeds, at-risk age groups, pets with suspected problems, or for those pets undergoing a longer procedure, a more in-depth panel is likely to be recommended. 

Just like with weather forecasting, the closer the test is performed, the more accurate the results. While no test can guarantee the complete safety of general anesthesia, coupling the pre-anesthetic test with individual anesthetic protocols and patient monitoring is the best approach to an positive general anesthesia experience for your pet. 

We offer the following pre-anesthetic tests:

IStat Pre-Anesthetic Screen (PAS)
This pre-anesthetic test is designed for healthy pets less than 12 months of age. Prior to placing your pet under anesthesia, a veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination and unless your pet has had other pre-anesthetic blood work performed within the last 60 days, he or she will recommend an IStat PAS "mini-screen" at the very least, be preformed. This is a simple but accurate blood test which measures six different parameters of the internal health of your pet. It gives a broad overview of the liver, kidneys, electrolytes, and red blood cell count. If abnormalities are found, further more specific testing will be advised prior to proceeding with surgery.

Pre-Op Profiles:
The Pre-Op Profile should be considered especially for any healthy pet between the ages of 1-6 years of age undergoing general anesthesia. Because there are limitations as to the amount of information available from the "mini-screen" blood test, we strongly recommend that a more in-depth pre-anesthetic profile (a combination of tests) be performed prior to anesthesia. While the IStat PAS measures one variable from each major internal organ system, the Pre-Op Profile measures several variables. This helps to ensure that a more through diagnostic check is performed on your pet. The Pre-Op Profile is also designed to be a follow-up test should any abnormalities be found on the IStat PAS.

Comprehensive Chemistry and CBC Profile:
We recommend the Comprehensive Chemistry and CBC prior to anesthesia for pets over 7 years of age and any pet with a suspicion of health risks. The Comprehensive Profile is the most complete panel that can be run in our clinic lab. It is designed to provide in-depth analysis of your pet's internal organ function.

It is important to understand that a thorough physical exam coupled with a comprehensive pre-anesthetic profile does not guarantee the absence of anesthetic complications. It does, however, increase the chances of detecting medical conditions that require treatment prior to safely proceeding with anesthesia and surgery and may help us adjust the anesthetic protocol to best address your pet's medical needs. 

If you have any questions about the pre-anesthetic testing, let us know! We are happy to answer questions or discuss your concerns at any time.

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at two locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.