Pre-surgical Preparation and Testing

in Norwalk, CA

At AM PM Ideal Spay & Neuter Clinic, we are dedicated to the health of your pet. The best way to minimize the risk is for your pet to have a complete pre-surgical evaluation before the procedure.

What is involved in Blood Testing:

Routine pre-surgical blood testing typically includes a complete blood count (CBC) and a serum biochemistry profile; these tests provide important information about your pet's health status (see handouts "Complete Blood Count" and "Serum Biochemistry").

Complete Blood Count.

This simple test analyzes the cellular components of blood. These include red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues; white blood cells, which fight infection and respond to inflammation; and platelets, which help the blood to clot. The CBC provides details about the number, size, and shape of the various cells types, as well as any abnormalities that may be present. If there are deficiencies in the red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets, or if there are abnormal cells present, then anesthesia and surgery may need to be delayed until the underlying problem is corrected.

Serum Biochemistry Profile.

This is a series of tests performed on blood serum, which is the liquid part of blood. These tests give details about how well the organs of the body are working, and whether metabolic disease is present. For example, there are tests to assess the liver, kidney, and pancreas, and tests to identify the presence of diabetes, etc. If serious abnormalities are found, especially involving the liver or kidney, or there is evidence of metabolic disease, then anesthesia and surgery may need to be postponed until the underlying problem is corrected.

Additional or Special Testing.

Additional or special tests may be done if your pet has an existing problem that needs to be assessed before surgery, or to investigate some abnormality identified on physical examination or routine blood testing. Tests commonly done include: urinalysis, thyroid testing, radiographs (X-rays), and electrocardiogram etc.


This test is necessary for the complete evaluation of the urinary system (see handout "Urinalysis" for more information). Urinalysis provides information about kidney function, inflammation in the kidneys or bladder, some metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes), and the presence of urinary crystals. Urinalysis is recommended as a part of routine pre-anesthetic testing, especially when a pet has kidney or bladder problems.

Thyroid Testing.

The thyroid gland acts as a "thermostat", setting the metabolic rate of the whole body (see handouts "Thyroid Hormone Testing in Cats" and "Thyroid Hormone Testing in Dogs"). Thyroid testing prior to surgery is important for both dogs and cats, but for different reasons.

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