Pre op bloodwork before spaying (need advice)

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    Hello Dr. Jeff, and anyone else who may read this! I just discovered HomeVet tonight, and I am very pleased with what I’ve read so far—Thanks so much for having such a wonderful and informative site!

    My 6 month old (4 pound) chihuahua, Madilyn, is going to be spayed on August 3, and naturally, I’m a bit nervous. My vet also suggested that I consider having extra blood work done on her prior to surgery. She stressed that it’s not required, but that it would assure that all is well on the inside and there are no hidden health problems. I keep asking people if they’ve had it done and have yet to find anyone who has. I just hate the thought of putting Madilyn through any extra trauma or discomfort than necessary, but I also hate the thought of not doing the bloodwork and possibly having something happen to her.

    Madilyn shows nothing but perfect signs of good health (right down to her joints, according to my vet). My gut feeling is not to have it done, but I’d appreciate any opinions and/or experiences. Thanks so much!

    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    [quote=Madilyn’s mom]consider having extra blood work done on her prior to surgery.

    I also hate the thought of not doing the bloodwork and possibly having something happen to her.

    Madilyn shows nothing but perfect signs of good health[/quote]

    My opinion is that you [b]definitely[/b] should do the blood testing. The minimal stress of having the small amount of preanesthetic bloodwork drawn is far outweighed by the risk of not having it done. Here is some more info from about.com:

    My pet is young and healthy — why is bloodwork needed?
    ?The short answer is to make sure your pet is completely healthy “inside and out” prior to subjecting your pet to anesthesia and surgery.While spays and neuters are performed often, this doesn’t mean that they are simple. These surgical procedures require as much knowledge about the patient’s health prior to surgery as possible.
    A full history and physical examination should be part of the preoperative visit. This rules out any health concerns you may have and allows the vet to assess your pet’s weight, heart condition, and any health problems that should be addressed prior to surgery (or immediately after).
    Many veterinary clinics have the capability to do “in-house” lab work — meaning that they can run a simple blood test right in the office to check basic liver and kidney blood values. In a young healthy animal with no history of problems, we would expect that these values would be within the normal ranges. But what if they aren’t? The possibility exists that there could be an undetected congenital problem or subclinical problem that hasn’t manifested clinical signs yet. This type of early detection would warrant investigation, and in the case of an elective surgery, postponement until the pet is deemed ready. For animals that have a normal preoperative blood panel, congratulations! your pet is healthy, and this blood work will provide a good foundation for your pet’s health record. This baseline panel will serve as a reference point as your pet matures.
    For clinics that offer preoperative bloodwork, many times there are various “packages” that are offered, from basic testing to more complete testing. Discuss with your veterinarian the tests available, what level of testing is appropriate for your pet, and to address any concerns that you have.


    Thanks Dr. Jeff! I actually had decided to go ahead with the bloodwork after all (she had it done this morning).

    I know that I was very hesitant initially, but after giving it some thought, I finally figured it this way: Getting it done might be uncomfortable for her for a moment, but it won’t kill her, or harm her once it’s done. It will also assure me that she is in perfect health, and therefore she WILL get through the surgery without any complications (so I’ll be nervous next Thursday, but not nearly as nervous as I’d be if I didn’t get the bloodwork done!).

    I would definitely recommend that everyone do this for their pets. I will certainly do it from now on.

    Thanks so much again for your reply Dr. Jeff!!

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