A: This is one of the ways we can minimize risk. Every patient, human or veterinary, should have a thorough physical examination and routine laboratory screening tests before anesthesia. These tests help the doctor compile a complete picture of a patient’s health status. Even slight abnormalities may necessitate a different choice of drugs, different fluid rate, or even an alternate procedure. For example, in humans it is well established that a low serum albumin is the single strongest predictor of post-operative mortality for non-cardiac surgery. If your pet’s albumin is low before anesthesia, don’t you want your veterinarian to know? No doctor likes to be surprised by adverse events during an anesthetic episode. We would much rather have the information in advance that will allow us to formulate the safest possible anesthetic experience for our patient.