Just as in human medicine, the anesthesia options available for our companion pets are extremely safe. As a result, the anesthetic risk is greatly minimized for a “healthy” pet. However, if your pet is not “healthy,” complications can occur both during and after the procedure. Many illnesses regarding organ function do not make themselves apparent to the owner and can only be initially detected with preoperative blood screening. To minimize any potential risk, it is vital that we know your pet’s complete health status before any anesthetic is administered.
Testing before anesthetic procedures can significantly reduce medical risk and ensure your pet’s health and safety. A healthy appearing pet may be hiding symptoms of a disease or ailment. For example, a pet can lose up to 75% of kidney function before showing any signs of illness. Even with young pets, we can sometimes detect illnesses such as infection via a blood panel that are not readily apparent otherwise.
If the blood work is normal we can proceed with confidence, knowing the anesthetic risk is minimized. On the other hand, if results are not within normal ranges, we will make the necessary changes with the anesthetic procedure to safeguard the pet. In others, the test abnormalities may be significant enough to postpone the procedure, and instead monitor and medically treat your pet. Although these tests cannot guarantee the absence of complications, they can significantly minimize risk and provide you and us, with some peace of mind.