phone01844 212000
Out of hours service available
RCVS Accredited

Blood Sampling

Pre-operative Blood Sampling

If your pet is admitted to the Hospital for a general anaesthetic and is over the age of 8, you will be asked whether you would like us to run a pre-operative blood test before the procedure.  At the Hospital we are able to run a variety of tests in our ‘in-house’ laboratory, so that we can take blood from your pet and have the results within an hour in most cases.

What is a pre-operative blood test?

A pre-operative blood panel allows us to check that your pet does not have any pre-existing, serious liver or kidney disease and assesses their red and white blood cell count  to ensure there is no evidence of anaemia or infection.

Why is this important?

It is not essential that we carry out a pre-operative blood test before we administer an anaesthetic however, sometimes our pets can be suffering from disease without showing any clinical symptoms. Although this can be true of animals of any age, older animals are more at risk. If a patient’s pre-operative blood test indicates that there is a problem, the vet may decide to postpone a procedure or re-evaluate it in order to ensure your pet’s wellbeing and to optimise their recovery from the anaesthetic.  Pre-operative blood tests can also help inform us as to what drugs are best used in your pet; for example the use of NSAIDs (non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs) should be avoided in pets with kidney disease.

What will happen to my pet if I decide not to have a pre-op blood sample taken?

If you decide not to have the test, then we will carry out the procedure as normal. The majority of pets that have pre-op bloods taken, come back with normal results.  However there are cases where the blood test has shown evidence of serious disease that otherwise the vet and owners would not have been aware of, and we were able to postpone the anaesthetic and treat the condition first. In some cases the procedure that the pet was coming in for becomes secondary to the disease that has been diagnosed on the blood sample.

Does this blood test cover all aspects of my pet’s health?

The pre-op panel consists of 6 slides that evaluate two liver enzymes, basic kidney function, blood glucose levels (which is an aid in the diagnoses of diabetes) and total protein which helps in assessing  your pets hydration status.  If the blood test comes back normal for these parameters it does not necessarily mean that your pet is free from disease, but it does allow us to evaluate the state of their general health.

What happens if the blood test comes back with abnormalities?

If we find something in the blood test that causes us concern, we will contact you to discuss what we do next. Sometimes further work-up is needed i.e. more diagnostics may be required, or it may be a case of putting your pet on i.v. fluids to support them during the procedure.

How much does this test cost?

The current cost of pre-operative blood sampling approximately £40. If your pet is insured this cost should be covered by the policy (it may be worth checking with the insurers first).  The vet may recommend to you that your pet has this blood test before a  procedure is carried out, otherwise the nurse will ask you during the admitting procedure on the day.

Does my pet have to be over 8 years of age to have this test?

No, our practice policy is to offer this service to owners whose pets are over the age of 8 and therefore more at risk from serious disease, but any pet can benefit from pre-op bloods. If you wish your pet to benefit from this service please discuss this with the vet or nurse.