Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The day your pet is scheduled for surgery...

It is likely that every pet at some point will need to be put under anesthesia during their lives. Whether it be for a routine procedure such as a spay or neuter or a more serious issue, surgery can be a source of anxiety for both the pets and the owners. It is our goal to decrease the stress experienced by all members of your family. Below you will find many answers to  the questions "What will happen to my pet on that day?" As always our team members are available to discuss your individual pet's needs.

No fasting required. The old thought was your pet needed to be fasted for 24 hours before general anesthesia. Turns out that with newer information and studies have shown that it can actually cause more problems. Feeding them a light meal the morning they arrive, can actually help prevent complications. Cats are generally not affected at all by this. Water is fine to give in both species. We start with administering  a dose of an anti-nausea that last for 24 hours as soon as the patient is admitted.

Day surgeries mean that your pet will be admitted in the morning (admitting time is between 7:30-830 in the morning). When you bring your pet in you will spend 10-15 minutes with one of our doctors. They will collect some information from you about how your pet is doing at home and do a brief physical exam. They will answer any questions about the surgery you may have and discuss other options such as microchipping/vaccines. This is you opportunity to mention any concerns you may have. After the exam the assistant will bring your pet to the treatment ward where the technicians can begin the prepping period.

There can be many changes in your pets health that can occur between visits. Although many procedures we do each day are routine, they are still major surgeries and we want to be sure that each and every patient is well prepared for general anesthesia. We want the surgery and anesthesia to proceed as smoothly and as safe as possible.

The RVT will administer an injection of an anti-nausa and sedative. This is especially important if a patient seems stressed in any way. We want our patients visits to be as stress free as possible. The injection will not make them fall asleep but will reduce anxiety and make them feel relaxed. Once they are relaxed, any necessary blood will be drawn and ran in our in house laboratory, and an intravenous catheter and intravenous fluids will be placed. This will be utilized at the time when they will undergo their general anesthesia induction.

After the surgery has been completed ( like a human hospital) they are transported into our recovery ward, where our recovery ward nurse (RVT) will take over their care in recovery. Keeping them warm is essential. Vital signs are monitored, nails are trimmed, ears are cleaned etc, while they are still sleeping. As they slowly recovery from anesthesia in a quite comfortable area, and are able to walk again, they are moved back to their beds, where they can continue relaxing until later in the day. You will be called once your pet has awoken in the recovery area to let you know that the procedure has been completed, and give you an update and establish the best time to pick your pet up.

The intravenous catheter and fluids are removed later in the day before going home. Sometimes it is necessary for a bandage to be placed where the catheter has been placed. IF your pet goes home with a bandage on, please remove the bandage once you arrive home.

Discharging: The technician will go over everything you need to know about your pets instructions. They will show you the management of the incision, discuss pain medications, and any other medications with you. If you have any concerns in the days following your pets surgery we encourage you to call and bring them in.