Benefits of Pre-Anesthetic Blood Work.
Charlie was about six months old when Amy Carver found him searching for food in a McDonald’s dumpster. After a little bribery, Charlie found his forever home. He just recently celebrated his 10th birthday.
Charlie came in for a routine annual wellness exam and vaccines. Dr. Forbes found that Charlie had some tarter build up on his teeth and recommended a dental cleaning. After his appointment, Charlie was scheduled for his dental procedure.
On the day of surgery we advised Amy that we need to run pre-anesthetic blood work to make sure he was healthy enough for anesthesia. The results of his blood work showed that he had elevated liver values which meant there may be added risks with anesthesia. Dr. Forbes suggested we post-pone his procedure until we can determine why Charlie’s liver values were elevated.
A pre and post bile acids test was performed and those results were also elevated indicating his liver is not functioning properly. This means the liver is unable to metabolize drugs or perform the normal functions required on a day to day basis. Anesthetic drugs require a normal liver in order for the body to clear them from the system, so postponing his cleaning was a wise decision.
Amy agreed to have an ultrasound done to evaluate the liver further. The ultrasound showed that there were no significant changes in the architecture of the liver which is excellent news! We have discovered and are able to start treating Charlie’s condition before permanent scarring has occurred. Dogs with a chronic hepatitis, like Charlie, can go years and years without showing signs of illness until the liver can no longer compensate. Without the blood screen we would not have known that Charlie had a problem until it progressed far enough to show symptoms.
Charlie has been placed on a medication called Ursodial, to help regulate his liver function. He is doing great and enjoys his Pup-cups every now and then. Once his liver disease is stable he will be able to have his dental disease addressed.
Charlie presented as a healthy dog in his wellness exam with no obvious problems other than dental disease. A pet that looks healthy is not a guarantee that there is nothing going on inside. Doing blood work can help us catch problems early allowing us to make the necessary changes to keep your pet healthy and happy for longer. It also provides us a baseline for your individual pet to use as a comparison in the future. By checking a blood panel prior to Charlie’s surgery we were able to avoid potential complications and get him the treatment his liver needed.