All anaesthetics have some degree of risk. However, you can rest assured these risks are often low and usually related to age and illness. Naturally a young fit animal has a lower risk than an older pet with medical problems.
Pre-anaesthetic blood tests are a way to further minimise and manage risks involved with anaesthesia by assessing how your pet's internal system is functioning prior to administering any anaesthetic. When we perform these tests we are checking:
- Blood cell counts - checking for anaemia, dehydration, infection
- Kidney and liver function - is the body capable of processing the anaesthetic drugs
- Blood sugar levels - to determine the risk of seizure and check for diabetes
- Protein levels - these can affect healing and surgical risk if too low
None of these findings can be detected in a normal physical exam.
Because older pets are at the most risk under anaesthetic, pre-anaesthetic bloods tests are essential. They are also very useful in young pets to ensure everything is in normal working order. The more information we have about your pet, inside and out, the more we can tailor their anaesthetic appropriately.
While many people believe their pet may be too old for anaesthetic, that is no longer the case. The use of safer drugs, anaesthetic agents and pre-anaesthetic blood tests means we can always weigh up the risks verses the benefits for any anaesthetic whether your pet is 3 or 13 years old.
We have advanced in-house laboratory equipment, providing results in just minutes.