The Pre-Anesthetic Blood Tests involve a group of tests that give us a broad view of what is going on in the pet at the time the blood is taken. In combination with the physical examination, we can assess the patient's anesthetic risk and make modifications in the anesthetic plan if needed. In other cases, potentially life threatening conditions can be detected that must be addressed before anesthesia can be safely induced. |
Complete Blood Count
Called the "CBC" this allows for an evaluation of the three cell populations in the blood--- the red blood cells (RBCs), the white blood cells (WBCs), and the platelets. The RBCs are responsible for getting oxygen to the tissues of the body. Deficiencies or "anemia" can slow the healing process. The WBCs play a major role in the body's defence system, fighting off infections. Abnormalities can indicate an infection or an increased susceptibility to infection post-operatively. Lower than normal platelet counts generally mean a slower than normal clot time. In surgeries, this is simply critical.
Sodium, Potassium, and Chloride
Not only is the presence of these three electolytes critical to an animal's health, they must be in balance with one another. Imbalances or outright deficiencies can occur in adrenal gland diseases, vomiting and diarrhea cases, dehydration, and heart or kidney disease. As you can imagine, any of these conditions can adversly affect surgery and anesthetic risk.
Alanine Aninotransferase (ALT)
The "ALT" is an enzyme found in liver cells. Elevations indicate liver cell damage. Many of the anesthetics used in veterinary medicine must leave the body after being broken down by the liver cells. If enough of the liver cells are damaged, anesthetic risk increases.
Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
"BUN" is produced in the liver and is removed from the body by the kidneys. Lower than normal levels are seen in some liver diseases while high levels are features of dehydration or kidney disease. Chemicals that are produced by the breakdown of the anesthetics may also require this pathway to get out of the body. If so, again, anesthetic risk and surgery risk increases.
High blood glucose values are seen in diabetes or, especially in cats coming to the veterinary clinic, stress. As the primary energy sustance in the blood, low levels effect healing and anesthetic recovery.