The risk associated with general anesthesia and surgery is minimal for a healthy pet. However, the potential for complications still exists, and the best way to minimize the risk is for your pet is to have a complete pre-surgical evaluation performed before the procedure. There are three stages of surgical preparation: physical examination, routine blood testing, and additional or special testing.
A blood test detects pregnancy in the pregnant dog by measuring levels of a hormone called relaxin. This hormone is produced by the developing placenta following implantation of the embryo, and can be detected in the blood in most pregnant dogs as early as 22-27 days post-breeding.
Having your pet properly prepared for a blood test helps to ensure that the results are as accurate and reliable as possible. Preparation for these two types of tests is slightly different. Your veterinarian will give you specific instructions before your appointment. It is important that you follow these instructions exactly to ensure accurate test results.
One of the most common and useful medical diagnostic procedures is radiography or x-rays. The term x-rays originates from 1895 when the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the technique. Since he was unsure what exactly was producing the image on his plates, he titled his paper "On a New Kind of Rays" and the term "x"-rays was substituted for "unknown rays."
Serum is the liquid portion of blood. Serum is collected by placing a tube of clotted blood in a machine called a centrifuge, which spins the blood very quickly in a small circle, forcing the cells to the bottom of the tube and allowing the serum to sit on top. There are many substances in serum, including proteins, enzymes, lipids, hormones etc. Testing for these various substances provides information about the organs and tissues in the body as well as the metabolic state of the animal.
Serum iron tests are indicated when the results from a complete blood count (CBC) indicate that your pet is anemic (decreased red blood cell numbers and/or decreased hemoglobin) and that the red blood cells are microcytic (smaller than usual) and hypochromic (contain less hemoglobin than usual).