Preanesthetic Testing

Don’t compromise—change happens fast

Ensure safer anesthetic events with real-time blood-work results


You always do a physical exam on the day of surgery. So why wouldn’t you also perform same-day, preanesthetic blood work to minimize your patients’ anesthetic risk?

Same-day, real-time blood work results decrease the risk of serious complications during induction, anesthesia and recovery.

Preanesthetic Testing

Ensure your patients’ safety with same-day results

Blood cell counts can change in hours or even minutes.

  • The complete blood count (CBC) is a more sensitive indicator of disease than the physical exam.
  • Screen for conditions such as thrombocytopenia and anemia that may greatly enhance the risk of anesthetic and surgical procedures.
  • Running a CBC the day of the procedure is critical, because cellular components can change quickly. For example, red blood cells (RBCs) can change in just a few minutes if an occult mass ruptures or in just hours with an occult hemorrhage.
  • Additionally, white blood cells (WBCs) and platelets can change within hours due to acute infectious diseases.

Fasted samples are required for accurate results.

  • Abnormal glucose levels can increase anesthetic risk and differ markedly between fasted and nonfasted samples, breeds, age and sick and healthy patients.
  • Evaluating electrolytes, hematocrit and total protein in fasted patients is essential for monitoring during anesthesia, minimizing the risk of arrhythmias and hypotension and facilitating patient recovery.
  • Same-day testing allows owners to fast pets only once. It’s easier on pets and owners and increases compliance.


Don’t rely on yesterday’s news to make decisions today

  • Identify the current health status of every patient.
    Many laboratory tests, especially the complete blood count (CBC) and glucose, are affected by time, environmental stress and fasting. Same-day in-house testing on fasted samples ensures accurate, immediate results.
  • Create an individualized anesthetic/surgical plan.
    Tailor your anesthetic protocols to enhance your monitoring potential and make fluid therapy and pain medication choices based on individual results.
  • Standardize the baseline profiling process.
    • Preanesthetic testing serves as an invaluable baseline for referencing and interpreting future blood work.
    • Accurate laboratory results are technology dependent, so it makes sense to establish baselines on the same instrument you’ll use for future blood work or emergencies.
  • Earn the pet owner’s trust.
    Share and explain preanesthetic results with clients when they pick up their pet. Increase trust and create instant value through face-to-face communication.
  • Increase compliance.
    Same-day blood work lets you deliver clients information today for more convenience and better compliance.

Implement consistent, thorough preanesthetic protocols


Share the benefits of a comprehensive preanesthetic program with your clients, your staff and, most important, your patients.


Five simple steps to implementation


The following are suggested preanesthetic testing guidelines to help you establish a practice protocol.



  • A comprehensive baseline allows you to trend values throughout a patient’s life to detect even subtle changes that could be clinically significant.

    Albumin levels that are low or low-normal can indicate serious disease and are very important in gauging an animal’s hydration status as well as fluid therapy choices and rates.

  • In geriatric patients with cancers, such as lymphosarcoma or anal sac carcinomas, calcium is often the only elevated analyte. Elevated TBIL and/or phosphorous levels can indicate renal and/or hepatic disease.


Five simple steps to implementation  


  1. Standardize your protocols.
    Eliminate confusion for your staff and clients and simplify your work flow by posting guidelines stating which preanesthetic tests you will run on which patients.
  2. Train your team.
    Provide training so everyone understands the benefits and how-tos of preanesthetic testing and can confidently answer clients’ questions.
  3. Integrate your computer systems.
    • Update templates and create computer codes so that surgical procedures requiring anesthetics include preanesthetic testing.
    • Computer codes help avoid lost charges: You’ll easily see if preanesthetic testing was charged when you prepare an invoice for surgery or dentistry.
  4. Implement your protocols.
    Put your preanesthetic testing protocols to work. Knowing that you’re doing the best for your patients will increase your confidence—and your clients’ confidence too.
  5. Track your compliance.
    Run a report to identify the number of preanesthetic procedures that have been done and if they have followed your new protocols.