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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Blood Work Before Neutering?

I've been researching neutering on this site as I'm about ready to get my boy (about 19 months old) neutered. A few posts I have seen have mentioned that you should get a complete panel of blood work done BEFORE neutering. Why? Is there something that can cause complications? Does something change (in regards to blood work) before and after neutering? My guy seems healthy enough, should I be worried about anything as he gets neutered? If I need to, won't blood work sometime after the neutering be just as good after neutering as before (or show anything of concern - unrelated to neutering)?

Sorry for the ????????s ... THANKS!

ps.. Also, do they just cut out the testicles and leave the sack dangling there? How long is the recovery? Quick?

pps.. Is there any reason to avoid getting the neutering done at the Humane Society ($100) rather than my normal vet ($~300)? Seems like too good of a cost difference to pass up.

Last edited by BvW602; 05-11-2009 at 05:47 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 06:05 PM
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Would your surgeon put you under general anesthesia without preanesthetic bloodwork? It's very important to make sure the organs systems are healthy before undergoing anesthesia. Basic preanesthesic panels look at general liver and kidney values among other blood chemistries, and a complete blood count to check white and red cell counts as well as platelets. I also had the Vetgen vWD (von Willebrand's) test done prior to my dog's neuter to make sure he wasn't affected with a bleeding disorder Dobermans can have that could complicate surgery.

And yes, the neuter surgery involves removal of the testicles, but the scrotal sac remains there. I call Red's empty sac his "coin purse", lol. If your dog has both testicles descended into the scrotum, there will be one incision, and the recovery period is pretty short. Usually a dog feels completely back to normal after a couple days. You just have to keep an eye on the incision site for any problems until fully healed.

About the cost... keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Does the humane society's cost included the bloodwork? What kind of surgical monitoring do they do? Who will actually be doing the surgery? Sometimes student veterinarians are allowed to perform surgeries. Personally, I would feel much better if my dog was under the care of my own veterinarian who I know and trust. The extra couple hundred dollars isn't worth the worry and risk, imo.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 06:42 PM
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I like doing the pre anesthetic blood panel on my animals to ensure there is nothing going on with the vital organs and ALSO it gives you a baseline to go on in the future should your animal be sick, you can compare values, and possibly narrow down what may be wrong with him.
I am a fan of doing a PAS and any animals I have had it done, along with IV fluids, with the exception of Gilbert, my cat who was a TOTAL FREAK for his blood draw and was even worse after anesthetic,so the vet decided it was in his best interest NOT to get the fluids lol
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 07:00 PM
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I have never had any pre testing done on my healthy guys before neutering. My Vet has never recommended that I do either. None of my dogs has ever had any problems pre or post op. Years ago when money was tight I had a Rhodi neutered at the SPCA and a Labrador spayed there too. Both came out just fine.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 07:01 PM
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The comments that have already been made are right on and even though having bloodwork is no guarantee that problems won't arise, it's definitely a great safety precaution. I would never have surgery done on my animals without having bloodwork done prior. I have even worked for one vet that included the bloodwork in the cost of the spay or neuter. Take the advice given on DT to heart.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 07:08 PM
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In theory, something could be wrong that could have been caught with bloodwork, but odds are he will be A-OK. Do you know his vWD status though?

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 08:06 PM
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I don't typically like playing the odds before surgery with my animals
Remember, this isn't a little puppy - a 19 month old dog is well on their way to adulthood.

And if we play the odds, IF something went wrong, I bet an owner would be more than willing to blame the vet and be angry if the vet DIDN'T recommend all the ideal protocols, right? Pre-op bloodwork, anesthetic monitoring, IV catheters during surgery, fluids, pain meds post-op, e-collars... you get what you pay for. Good veterinary care is not cheap, and I certainly don't skimp in this area for my own animals.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 08:11 PM
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Blood work is very important before surgery. You can have surgery done without blood work but I wouldn't. My vet has called off surgeries off because the blood work revealed problems and the animal would have probably died during surgery.
Quality of surgery and recovery is the difference in low cost neuters/ spays and your vet. A lot of the low cost centers don't monitor, little or no pain meds and little or no recovery time. I'm not saying they are all like that but they have to cut costs somewhere.
Hank was neutered about two months ago. He has the classic "coin purse" hanging. He was spayed on Thursday and I picked him up the following afternoon. We had to keep him "quiet as possible" for several days. If allowed to get rowdy it could aggrivate the scrotum and it could swell.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 09:05 PM
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They will ALWAYS recommend pre anesthetic blood work, for any operation, or any time a dog/cat is being put under. Lexx has had it SEVERAL times, ironically, the only time he DIDN't was pre neuter. However, the reason was that he has blood panels regularily and my vet felt that he was fine to proceed due to the several panels he'd had done recently. Because of his seizures he as also on fluids the whole time/after and valium during the operation.

I would recommend going to your regular vet and doing exactly as they recommend He will be fine in no time after. The hardest part might be keeping him quiet after.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 09:07 PM
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The following was taken from my vets web page:

During your pets surgical and dental procedure there are safety measures that we offer as a mandatory precaution in your petís best interest. One such measure is by providing pre-anesthetic blood tests for pets of all ages. There are two different types of blood-work we offer depending on the age of your pet. A smaller blood panel is recommended for animalsí aged eight and younger, whereas a more comprehensive blood panel is suggested for eight years and older. Although this pre-surgical blood work is optional we highly recommend it for your petís safety.
When your animal arrives to our hospital for a surgical/dental procedure there are precautions that our staff takes at all times to ensure the safest, most comfortable stay for your pet.
These such precautions are:
Pre-op sedation to reduce your petís anxiety.

Electronically monitor heart rate and blood oxygen levels throughout the procedure.

Use of isoflurane inhalation anesthetic: This form of anesthesia is not metabolized by the liver and kidneyís, hence ensuring a quick recovery from its effects.

Analgesic (pain) medication that lasts up to 24 hours.

He's a great vet and his web site is
Brookside Home Page
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Good responses all, thanks. I'm now seriously considering having the pre-surgery blood work done and I understand the reasons. Perhaps the neutering/spaying "doberman education" area should be updated with this information. As I said, I searched before and didn't find the answers, although it sounds as though this information is pretty important.

BTW, I've had his vWD status tested prior thru vetgen. He is only a carrier.
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