Pre-Anesthetic Testing Recommendations for Safety and Peace of Mind

November 29, 2010

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:

Chem 10:
This blood panel should be considered especially for any healthy pet between the ages of 4 months to 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. The Chem 10 measures several variables, including liver & kidney function . This helps to ensure that a more thorough diagnostic check is performed on your pet.

Chem 17:
We recommend this blood panel prior to anesthesia for pets over 7 years of age and any pet with a suspicion of health risks. This more 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 three locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314.951.1534 to schedule an appointment.