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Preanaesthetic blood tests in cats and dogs older than 8 years: anaesthetists’ prediction and peri-anaesthetic changes

Published:August 03, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaa.2021.04.010

      Abstract

      Objective

      To evaluate the anaesthetist’s ability to predict abnormalities in preanaesthetic blood test results obtained from cats and dogs older than 8 years and to describe the impact of these preanaesthetic blood test results on the American Society Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status classification, anaesthetic protocol and procedures.

      Study design

      Observational, prospective, clinical multi-centre study.

      Animals

      A total of 333 cats and dogs.

      Methods

      After a clinical examination and review of the animal´s clinical history the anaesthetist completed the first part of a set of questions including ASA status and anticipated abnormalities in blood tests. After this, blood results were presented, and the anaesthetist completed the second part of the set of questions, including changes in ASA status or anaesthetic protocol, and procedure delay or cancellation. Preanaesthetic blood tests included: haematocrit, total proteins, electrolytes, glucose, lactate, urea and creatinine. Examiners were classified as senior clinicians, clinicians, anaesthesia residents or nurses, and interns. For statistical analysis, the chi-square test was used. A p value < 0.05 was considered significant.

      Results

      The ASA status increased in three dogs and one cat (1.2%); in two of them abnormalities were not expected by the examiner. The anaesthetic protocol changed in seven animals (2.1%); the most common change related to fluid therapy. Anaesthesia was delayed in two dogs (0.6%) to administer intravenous fluid therapy. No cases were cancelled. Abnormalities were more commonly found [37 out of 58 assessments (approximately 64%)] when the anaesthetist predicted them compared to when they were unexpected [49 of 275 assessments (approximately 18%); p < 0.001].

      Conclusions and clinical relevance

      Routine non-targeted blood tests in cats and dogs older than 8 years led to few changes in the anaesthetic management, and anaesthetists correctly predicted blood test results in most cases.

      Keywords

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