Prior to undergoing general anesthesia and surgery, 6 month old Bella had a “Pre-Anesthetic Blood Screen” (PABS) performed. A PABS is a series of laboratory tests performed on a blood sample to help identify patients who may be at a higher risk of complications during general anesthesia and surgery. It screens for abnormalities in liver and kidney function, protein levels, red cell and platelet numbers, all of which could adversely affect a patient’s ability to respond to the demands of general anesthesia and surgery.
It is not mandatory to perform a PABS on a young healthy animal undergoing elective general anesthesia and surgery. Fortunately, anesthetic or major surgical complications in this age group are relatively rare. It is however sometimes possible to have subtle or early changes in a patient that appears to be perfectly normal and healthy on physical exam. We recommend a PABS to help identify a pet that might be at higher risk of complications so that we can take steps to help minimize these risks.
Fortunately, in Bella’s case her blood test results are perfectly normal and she is “good to go” to surgery.