Poppy's Plea by Estelle Jenner, Wangford Veterinary Clinic
When your pet is booked for treatment under anaesthetic, you will be offered a pre anaesthetic blood test.
The aim of performing these pre-anaesthetic blood tests is to aid in detecting something that a full examination performed by your veterinary surgeon may not find. It is also a way of checking certain aspects of your pet’s health and may help in the future when looking at changes over time if your pet becomes ill.
Although this is encouraged more with middle to elderly aged dogs and cats, it is also beneficial for younger pets.
This is Poppy’s plea, a heart broken family’s story of why this simple test is important. Poppy was a gorgeous, loved family dog. Only 6 years of age. She was scheduled for a somewhat straightforward procedure.
Pre-anaesthetic blood test was discussed between her loving owners and our nurse. It was decided that with age on her side and the fact she was well and happy, these tests were not required. We supported our clients with this decision, after all Poppy was not old, with no ‘obvious’ organ health concerns. In fact all was not well, but on the outside this could not be detected.
Poppy had her procedure under anaesthetic, recovered well. She started showing signs of being unwell 2 weeks after her surgery; blood tests confirmed she was in liver failure. It was now clear that her liver would have been struggling at the time of her surgery but in the absence of these valuable blood tests there was no way to know this. The anaesthetic exacerbated this condition, pushing her into organ failure.
It is rare for apparently healthy animals to be anything other than healthy as they seem, however as Poppy’s story show it can happen…..Her family have allowed us to share her story so that her legacy ‘Poppy’s Plea’ may help others.