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Optional blood test during dental - should I have it done?

(9 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Sat 06-Apr-13 11:05:44

My greyhound is having a dental under GA next week. At her last one 18 months ago the vet asked if I wanted a blood test done.....can't quite remember what it was for, possibly kidney function, diabetes type of thing?

Anyway we didn't have it done as it was another £40 on top of an already huge bill. Vet said if the dog was any older she'd have recommended it more. Dog obviously is older now - she'll be 8 next month.

Should I get it done or is it more of a money making thing for the vet? Dog seems ok apart from bad teeth and a known heart murmer which doesn't slow her down/require meds.

fanoftheinvisibleman Sat 06-Apr-13 11:58:59

We were offered it when having our pup neutered. I liked the vet nurse as she couldn't have made it more obvious that she was offering it because she had to rather than because we needed it if she tried grin After we declined she said she would suggest it is a good idea in older dogs over the age of 9.

Scuttlebutter Sat 06-Apr-13 14:05:50

It very much depends on what the blood test is for - it's not like choosing the menu of options of at the car wash, is it? grin

We've got older greys too - if they suggest tests, we ask questions about what they are/why and make decisions based on this. Usually I go with what the vet recommends. Like you we have GAs regularly for dentals - to me it makes sense to use this opportunity if necessary for any X rays or anything else that can be constructively done at the same time.

I often feel like a bit of a lone voice on here though since I trust my vet, respect their professional judgements and don't feel they are trying to rip us off. I also feel comfortable discussing any treatment/tests/recommendations and usually ask lots of questions.

Floralnomad Sat 06-Apr-13 14:27:32

I always have the blood tests , although our vet does a basic bloods or a more in depth and with my dog I generally just opt for the basics as he young and fit . I figure its a good time to check that there is nothing sinister going on and also I'd never forgive myself if something happened under anaesthetic and I hadn't covered all eventualities beforehand IYSWIM . Likewise I always opt for IV fluids if its an option .

VivaLeBeaver Sat 06-Apr-13 18:47:56

I could understand having the tests more if she showed any signs of illness, but she's fighting fit. I think our vet is good....but I do think that maybe they're a bit pushy for expensive treatment.

Maybe I'm been unfair but I'm holding a grudge over a very expensive op on my rabbit they insisted I had done, rabbit died two days later. I'd been keener to have the rabbit pts rather than spend £hundreds on the op but they insisted. hmm

poachedeggs Sat 06-Apr-13 19:25:19

It's all about the communication and sometimes we vets are crap at it <sigh>

Pre-anaesthetic blood tests usually consist of a basic screen looking for signs of liver damage, kidney failure, abnormal protein and glucose levels etc. We do offer these and my advice is as follows:

Young dogs having elective surgery such as neutering, don't waste your money. The option is there if the owner insists but the likelihood of there being anything to find in a clinically well dog of 12 months is tiny.

Dogs over 8, at the discretion of the owner, these are the dogs who may be concealing early signs of disease and if the owner has any concerns at all or prefers the reassurance then yes no problem. We occasionally detect abnormalities on these.

Dogs over 11 I strongly recommend in all cases. These dogs are likely to have negative outcomes subsequent to an anaesthetic if organ problems aren't detected and managed beforehand. Sometimes the results change our minds about even going ahead with the procedure at all.

In your individual case I'd do it. Periodontal disease creates a lot of work for the body, and it's likely that she'll eventually need treatment for her heart. A good idea to monitor her bloods anyway smile

VivaLeBeaver Sat 06-Apr-13 19:32:59

That's really well explained PoachedEggs, thank you. Ill get the test done.

poachedeggs Sat 06-Apr-13 19:38:12

You're welcome. The caveat is obviously that I'm just a figment of the internet and this is not a substitute for seeking veterinary advice yada yada yada ... talk it over with your own vet again for clarity, as they have actually seen your dog, unlike me grin

VivaLeBeaver Sat 06-Apr-13 19:39:31

No problem, will do. Thanks.

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