Pre-Anesthetic Testing

Pre-Anesthetic Testing
It's Important To Your Pet’s Health

Testing Prior To Anesthesia Helps Us Care For Your Pet

As in human medicine, the anesthetics available for anesthetizing our companion pets are extremely safe. As a result, the anesthetic risk is greatly minimized when a healthy pet is placed under anesthesia. However, if your pet is not healthy, complications can occur both during and after the anesthetic procedure. To minimize potential risk associated with anesthesia, it is vital for us to know the complete health status of your pet before placing him or her under anesthesia.

Why Pre-Anesthetic Testing Is So Important

Unlike humans, our companion animals often do not tell us when they do not feel well; as a result of animals’ instinct to protect themselves, oftentimes pets will “hide” their illness. Therefore, an animals’ appearance of health may be misleading. For example, a pet can lose up to 75% of kidney function prior to showing any signs of illness. To understand your pet’s “overall” health, it is crucial to derive additional information through testing prior to anesthesia.

Prior to anesthesia, we will obtain a complete history and perform a detailed physical exam on your pet and do pre-anesthetic testing. If the results of the tests are within normal ranges, we can proceed with confidence knowing the anesthetic risk is minimized. On the other hand, if the results are not within normal ranges, we may alter the anesthetic procedure to ensure your pet safety.

Although performing these tests cannot guarantee the absence of complications, it can significantly minimize the risk to your pet and provide peace of mind.

These Are Some Of The Tests Which May Be Recommended For Your Pet:

Blood Chemistry

Blood chemistry tests provide information concerning your pet’s vital organs such as the kidneys, liver, pancreas, thyroid, parathyroid and intestinal tract. These tests can also indicate conditions such as anemia and dehydration as well as endocrine diseases and certain types of tumors.

Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC)

The CBC provides information concerning the various types of blood cells. The red blood cells (RBC's) carry oxygen to the tissue of the body. White blood cells (WBC's) are the body's primary defense against infection. Platelets play a major role in the blood clotting process and are essential for halting the bleeding process..


The urinalysis provides important information about the functioning capacity of the kidneys. In addition, the urine contains by-products from many organs and abnormal levels of these by-products can indicate disease such as liver and kidney disease or diabetes.


In order to maintain life, the appropriate balance of electrolytes is vital. Certain diseases or conditions may result in electrolyte imbalances that could compromise a pet's health and ultimately become life threatening.

Other Tests

Depending on your pet’s age, history and physical exam, an EKG (electrocardiogram) or serum thyroid levels may be recommended.

Help your pet stay healthy by testing first.

We want to ensure that your pet can properly process and then eliminate the anesthetic he or she is given.

Before we perform any procedure requiring anesthesia, we run tests to confirm that your pet’s organs are functioning properly. These tests may reveal any hidden health conditions that could put them at risk.

The top 4 reasons to test your pet before anesthesia.»

Peace of mind.

Testing can significantly reduce medical risk and ensure your pet's health and safety.

Pets can’t tell us when they don’t feel well.

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 visible signs of illness. Testing helps us evaluate your pet’s health up front, so we can avoid problems related to anesthesia.

Testing can reduce risk and consequences.

If pre-anesthetic results are within normal ranges, we can proceed with confidence, knowing that anesthetic risk is minimized. On the other hand, if results are not within the normal ranges, we can alter the anesthetic procedure, or take other precautions to safeguard your pet's health and reduce the risk of potential complications.

Testing can help protect your pet’s future health.

These tests provide baseline levels for your pet and become part of his or her medical record for future reference.

Content used with permission; based on material provided by IDEXX Laboratories.

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