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Pregeneral anaesthetic (pre-GA) blood tests are often recommended for high risk or elderly pets. Screening can sometimes alter the American Society of Anaesthesiology (ASA) classification for a patient and subsequently clinical decisions relating to anaesthesia protocol (Joubert 2007); however, routine blood screening is not recommended by most authors (Silverstein and Boland 1994, Alef and others 2008, Apfelbaum and others 2012).
This study was conducted to determine the value of pre-GA blood tests for companion animals attending a veterinary group practice in the UK. The hypothesis was that pre-GA blood screening results would show abnormalities that would help identify anaesthetic risks for patients.
A retrospective review was conducted of all canine and feline pre-GA blood profile test results generated by the Scarsdale Veterinary Group Laboratory in Derby between October 2010 and September 2012. The Group uses a computerised practice management system which stores coding specifically for a ‘Lab Pre-GA profile’ and these entries were extracted by interrogating the linked laboratory database. The pre-GA profile is a redacted version of a full profile, and consists of 15 tests (see Table 1). Associated case clinical records were also accessed on the practice computer management system.
A total of 7039 test results from 474 dogs (mean age 9.64 years) were recorded and 5730 (81.4 per cent) were …