Mar 1, 2024
Peta van Hattum

Blood testing

Responsible monitoring before anaesthetics

Anaesthetised dog

Blood testing prior to Anaesthesia

Pre-anaesthetic blood testing

When your pet comes into one of our clinics for a procedure under general anaesthetic or sedation, blood testing will be offered.

The physical examination performed prior to surgery gives us a basic overview of your pets health, however blood results allow the veterinarians to make a more informed decision about whether your pet is healthy enough to be anaesthetised, or if they able to receive certain medications. Occasionally a procedure may need to be postponed until underlying medical conditions are managed. In young, apparently healthy animals, blood testing is still beneficial as it can provide baseline results for if your pet becomes unwell in the future, and can also help to pick up any hereditary or other underlying conditions.

There are multiple different levels of testing ranging from a simple biochemistry panel to a more comprehensive blood screen (which looks at 12 biochemistry parameters as well as a complete blood count).

A basic outline of the main parameters we look at include the following…


  • Kidney values– changes to these values may induce dehydration, kidney disease, or any issues with the urinary tract
  • Liver values – important for metabolism of anaesthetic medications
  • Glucose
  • Protein levels

Complete blood count:

  • Red blood cells – to check for anaemia
  • White blood cells – may show evidence of inflammation or infection
  • Platelets – low numbers may suggest a clotting abnormality, further testing may be required

All of our clinics are equipped with in house blood testing machines, which allow us to complete these tests, and get results, within 15-30 minutes.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding pre-anaesthetic blood testing please contact one of our clinics!


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