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Pre-Anesthetic Testing

Nene's Daddy

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I work for a vet, and we recommend a basic pre-op test for all animals going under anesthesia. It does happen, occasionally, that a seemingly healthy animal is actually harboring a serious illness that just hasn't become systematic yet. However, in young animals, problems are not common, especially in relatively healthly breeds. I don't feel anyone should feel badly for not selecting the test- in most cases it isn't necessary for young animals. It really should be done for middle-age and older pets. One other benefit though is that doing the test on a young, healthy animal, gives your vet a "base-line" list of values that show your pets normal values. Just to prepare everyone though, I think the time is going to come that your vet will require the pre-op bloodwork simply to cover his butt from lawsuits. Having that bloodwork done before can prevent problems arising from an undiscovered condition.




[This message has been edited by Smokjbc (edited 11-24-2002).]

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Sounds like a good coverage of the situation from Smokjbc. My pups were neutered in September ? vet didn?t recommend a blood test, but then here in Oz we?re not quite so much into lawsuits ? though I?ve no doubt it will come. A test now would certainly give a useful baseline, but like Smokjbc says, you probably shouldn?t feel bad if you decided not to have it done. The spaying itself isn?t cheap, is it.






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yes...a friend of mine has a Border Collie that went in for spaying...thankfully they chose to do the bloodwork - it showed a previously undiscovered problem with her kidneys...she has since gone on to have lifelong kidney trouble, barely controlled with a strict prescription diet and I believe, medication.

I guess, just to be devils advocate (and lawsuits aside) you need to ask yourself how YOU will feel if something happens, knowing YOU decided to skimp on the bloodwork.

I can certainly see arguments both pro and con - from a personal standpoint, if I trusted my vet, I would follow his recommendation and opt for all reasonable precaution....



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Well now this is after the fact, but I, too, used to work for a vet, and I come from a different perspective. I do not routinely screen my dogs before surgery. I did not do my 6-month old pup before she was anesthetized to remove tooth root fragments form her gum, for example.


Getting a baseline isn't a bad idea, and it certainly can prevent the vet from treating "anamolies" that may be perfectly normal for your individual dog at a later date, but I don't think anyone should feel guilty for not doing it. Yes, a profile can show oddities in liver and kidney function (important for clearing anesthetic and other drugs from the dog's system), but it certainly won't be a guarantee that something won't go wrong when your dog is put under either.


That said, most of my dogs do have profiles on record with my vet. The kicker for me was when I had one dog neutered for an ongoing problem. The dog had a profile from less than six months prior and after that had gone through ultrasound and numerous other tests, and yet they still wanted to do a profile before neutering. Sometimes I think things like this are taken too far, and the owner guilt factor is a mjor way of getting people to spend a lot of extra money.


Just my opinion, of course.



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Don't feel guilty if you choose or chose against doing the profile. It is only a choice after all and it is yours to make.


Of course, I do the blood work just because I would like the vet to have a baseline to go by down the road. I also do hip and knee xrays at around 2 years of age. I do the xrays because my dogs do flyball and I want to make sure that we notice changes as time goes on. I will probably have the hips and knees checked every couple years just so I feel better but that is my choice.


Vets and others should not make you feel guilty for not choosing to do the profile and if the vet office does, I would question them. Just call them on it and see what their explanation/reasoning is. That might get them to back off.

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