I/V Fluids and Blood Screens Explained

Perioperative Fluids

We routinely offer the option of Perioperative Fluids to pets for all surgical procedures, including de-sexing and dentistry.

Perioperative Fluids means that your pet is connected to a Intravenous Fluid Drip before their surgery, during their procedure and their recovery period.  This is something that is ALWAYS recommended in senior pets, sick pets, prolonged procedures, and in pets that have previously diagnosed health problems, such as deteriorating kidney function, and in these pets it is essential.  However it is definitely beneficial in young, fit dogs and cats as well.

The drugs that are used for Pre-medication and anaesthesia cause a fall in blood pressure, and this occurs even in young healthy pets.  By giving intravenous fluids while pets are under the effects of these of these drugs, we maintain healthy blood pressure and consequently, ensure good perfusion (blood flow) to the organs, such as the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas and gastrointestinal tract.  This results in greater anaesthetic safety, a faster and more comfortable recovery and fewer post-anaesthetic complications.

Although healthy animals rarely have problems recovering from anaesthetics, Perioperative Intravenous Fluids are another thing we can do to ensure the highest level of care comfort and safety for your pet.

Pre-Anaesthetic Blood Screens

Again we routinely offer the option of a pre-anaesthetic blood screen to pets for al surgical procedures.

This is a blood test that we can do here on the day of surgery before any sedatives or anaesthetics are given.  It includes a full blood count, blood proteins, glucose and indicators of liver and kidney health.

It is a general health test and sometimes identifies problems that are not detectable on physical examination.  The results can affect our choice of anaesthetic or supportive treatment, or occasionally makes us postpone the anaesthetic until a problem has been treated.

It is particularly helpful in middle aged and older pets, but we occasionally find unexpected abnormalities even in young animals that appear to be fit and healthy.  We think of it as an insurance policy – we hope to find everything is normal, but if there are any abnormalities, it is best to be aware of them before an anaesthetic is given.


A urine sample is also helpful before an anaesthetic, as it helps confirm the results of the blood test.  So if it is possible to collect a fresh urine sample in the morning of surgery we would appreciate that.