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These procedures may help detect clinical and sub-clinical problems in your pet. Certain medical conditions will increase the risk of having an anesthetic complication. These conditions include heart, liver or kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, anemia, dehydration, and certain infectious diseases such as heartworm disease.
Blood tests will increase the chance of detecting a hidden problem that could prove to be life threatening. In older animals, chest radiographs are recommended to ensure there is no pre-existing pathology in the heart or lungs that might increase the risk of an adverse reaction.
Immediate intravenous access for emergency drug administration is one of the most important factors in the successful treatment of cardiovascular or respiratory failure in either the awake or the anesthetized patient. By placing an intravenous (IV) catheter and line before anesthesia, your veterinarian can ensure that this lifeline is already in place, should the need arise. Anesthetics, fluids and emergency drugs can be administered through the IV line.
Intravenous fluids help maintain blood pressure in the anesthetized patient and will replace lost fluids (during surgery, fluids are lost through evaporation from body cavity surfaces, through bleeding, and in any tissues that are being removed). Upon completion of the procedure, intravenous fluid therapy speeds the recovery process by diluting the anesthetic agents circulating in the blood stream and by enhancing their metabolism and elimination through the liver and kidneys. Patients that receive IV fluid therapy generally wake up faster than those that do not. For these reasons, all surgery patients should receive intravenous catheterization and fluid therapy.
You should ensure that your pet's complete medical history is available to your veterinarian, especially if your pet has been seen at another veterinary clinic. Before anesthetizing your dog, your veterinarian needs to know about any medications or supplements that your dog has received in the past few weeks, any pre-existing medical conditions, any known drug reactions, the results of previous diagnostic tests, and whether the dog has undergone any anesthetic or surgical procedures in the past. Other useful information includes the pet's vaccine status and reproductive status, (i.e. when was its last estrus or heat cycle).