Why Does My Cat Need Pre-Anesthesia Test?
Reasons for testing
This is a great question. When I started in practice in 1986, we did little to no preparation prior to anesthesia. We also provided little to no pain management. We were taught that cats did not feel pain and that we should only start pain management if absolutely needed.
Fortunately, medicine evolves. Studies are performed and best practices are recommended. The most important resources are your history and observation of your cat. The physical exam is the next step. We exam every patient the day of the procedure. Conditions change rapidly with cats and it is vital that our cat patients are check the day of their procedure.
For our older patients, those cats over 7 there can be many hidden disease processes. We do diagnosis many cats that have hyperthyroidism, diabetes, anemia, liver disease, and kidney disease that were not previously detected. With this knowledge we are able to set up anesthesia for success.
In out younger patients. we also are able to find undetected diseases. These are more surprising, but can help use this information to set up a plan for success. The most common issues are bleeding disorders. The coagulation profiles are a newer testing process. Since we started performing these test, we have discovered bleeding disorders. With this knowledge, we were able to pre surgery treatment that provided clotting factors.
10% of cats have heart disease. We have recently started using ECG prior to anesthesia. Heart disease in cats is a young cat disease not an adult one. That sounds confusing since this is the opposite in humans. We will discuss feline cardiac disease in a future blog. There is a blood test called ProBNP that we are also using.
Our goal is to make anesthesia safer. We want to set up our procedure for as much success as possible
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has a brochure to discuss pre-anesthesia testing. Click here to see the brochure
Please feel free to call 703 525-1955 or email us with any questions or concerns.