Do I need to get pre-surgery blood work?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


A lesson in- unconditionnal- love
Barked: Tue Mar 30, '10 4:12pm PST 
Suggested by the vet as a precaution.

Laila did really well under anasthesia 3 years ago when she was spayed.

The extraction is already costing me a total of about 500$ plus taxes, plus 36$ of antibiotic pills pre and post surgery.

The blood work is an extra 60$ plus taxes (would bring me to a grand total of just about 700$). Is is necessary? I would like to hear from vets and vet techs. I trust my vet but I just want other opinions. Laila has no special health conditions that I know of.


We Are The- Champions!
Barked: Tue Mar 30, '10 5:18pm PST 
If I don't do annual bloodwork already, then I would without a doubt. For one, it would certify that she has no underlying conditions that could be aggravated or challenged by the anesthesia. The second reason, is even if it shows nothing that you need to be concerned with for this procedure, it still shows a baseline of what is pretty normal for your dog should she get sick in the future. She's starting to ever so slightly start hitting her solid adult years and it won't be long before she is a senior.
Addie CL1- CL2 CL3 CL4- OAJ

if it moves,- I'll chase it!
Barked: Tue Mar 30, '10 9:37pm PST 
I agree with what is stated above. I'm a vet tech and recommend it to our clients every day. As stated efore if nothing else it gives a baseline as to what your pets normal values are.

We recommend it because it checks organ functions.. mainly liver and kidney ( anesthesia is eliminated through these organs out of the body) and if these arnt functioning properly a pet may have major complications from anesthesia. Checking kidney values also lets us know if theres kidney problems - if so we may have to give the pet fluids under anesthsia to maintain good blood pressure / hydration. Another good reason for bloodwork is that although your pet may be acting fine especially with kidney issues, there wont be any outward problems until the are 75% shut down.. and without bloodwork you would never know this.

Bloodwork also may show a sign of an underlying infection ( high white blood cells for instance) that may not be evident yet.. putting a sick animal under anesthesia unless it is an emerency is always a problem.

Low blood levels ( hematocrit / rbc etc) may also decrease the amount of oxygen a pet can get during anesthesia and we would want to know this is evident and correct the problem before surgery to avoid any serious complications.

I know its a bit expensive ( the tests actually DO cost a good amount of money for the clinic to run) but especially if its a one time procedure it is always worth getting checked out.. you never know what may be 'hiding' in the bloodwork. If nothing else its ap eace of mind.

Hope it helps!

Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
Barked: Tue Mar 30, '10 9:40pm PST 
I would never have surgery done on any of my pets without having blood work first. Honestly, it's cheap compared to something going wrong because you didn't get the blood work and there was something in there to be found that caused a problem.
Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Wed Mar 31, '10 6:47am PST 
What has already been said is good!

Another thing to mention is that many of the pre-medications/sedations we use need to be processed by our livers. If your liver function is not good then we need to use other meds or another type of sedation. If this is not known you risk giving a medication that could potentially cause increased and prolonged sedation that is not safe for your pet.

Pre-anesthetic bloodwork makes a risky procedure that much safer. I understand that it cost a little more but it could make a very big difference in the life of your pet.
Becky RNCL

My Hat is Two- Sharks
Barked: Wed Mar 31, '10 8:21am PST 
Agreed with everyone. I"m a vet tech and I always support pre op blood work. I had it done for Marlo when he was neutered and he was only 7 months but I'm paranoid! Another reason why it is so good to get regular bloodwork is that you always have it as a baseline. If anything goes amiss with Laila in the future you have that "normal" bloodwork to look back on and compare.

I always get so sad when I hear about animals dying under anesthesia or having awful experiences...anesthesia is actually very safe when you know the health status of your patient and you have qualified staff administering it.

Boomer Did It...
Barked: Wed Mar 31, '10 8:44am PST 
Agreed. Our clinic recommends bloodwork whenever going under anesthesia but it is mandatory after 5 years of age. Personally, I wouldn't risk going under anesthesia without it. We've run inhouse bloodwork for clients who had scheduled pets for procedures and had to call and cancel the procedure because of the bloodwork results. Had we not run the bloodwork we would've never known.