What happens to my pet the day of surgery?

Many people are very nervous about their pet having surgery.  These animals are your babies and you hate to see them in discomfort.  Here we will let you know what happens to your pet on their surgery day when they pass that white door.  Some people are uncomfortable with or don’t want to know the details, so if this is you, stop reading here. ☺

When you bring your animal to us for surgery, they should be fasted for about 10 hours.  This is recommended to prevent possible complications for your best friend while under anesthetic.  If you have elected to perform pre-anesthetic bloodwork (which we strongly believe in and recommend), one of our registered veterinary technicians (RVT) would take a small blood sample that we run here in house.  Once we have these results, and as long as they are normal, one of the RVT’s will evaluate your pet noting heart rate and rhythm, respirations and lung sounds, pulse quality, temperature, demeanour or any presenting health concerns that may be affected by anesthesia. A catheter is then placed in one of your pet’s front legs (so they will have a shaved spot when they go home) in order to give anesthetic, medications and to have the ability to give medications quickly in the event of an emergency.

Your pet will then be given a mild sedation to relax your pet and prepare them for surgery.  Once this medication has had a chance to take effect, your pet is then given an injection of an anesthetic so we can place an endotracheal tube down the pet’s throat.  This allows us to deliver a gas anesthetic that is tailored to your individual pets needs.

We place all our surgical patients on intravenous (IV) fluids.  These fluids help maintain blood pressure during the surgery and makes sure that you pet is well hydrated, making recovery smoother.  One of our technicians monitors your pet prior to, during and after anesthesia for a variety of parameters: heart rate, quality of respirations, blood pressure, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. They do this using a Cardell Monitor and their own eyes, ears, hands and experience. They monitor your pet’s recovery from anesthesia closely and alert the veterinarian to any concerns they have.

Once your pet is completely under anesthetic, the surgical area is shaved and sterilized using a series of soaps and scrubs.  The surgeon dons a cap, gown and gloves, which are all sterile.  Then the surgeon drapes the animal with sterile cloths to protect the surgical area from having any debris fall into the surgical field.  The surgery is then performed, with our fabulous RVT’s continuously monitoring your pet.

Pets feel pain just like we do.  While pain management was once (and sometimes still is) considered to be a questionable benefit, it is now recognized as a minimal, ethical standard that should never be ignored.  We consider this step one of the most important in any of our surgical procedures as we NEVER want to have any animal feel discomfort.  Pain is controlled before, during and after the entire surgery and medication is also sent home post-surgery to ensure the comfort of your pet.

Once the surgery is complete, your pet’s recovery is monitored.  They are watched constantly as they are waking up, to ensure your pet is comfortable, relaxed and not stressed.  Once the animal has awoken from anesthetic and is stable, your pet is transferred to a recovery cage or run.  This is a quieter area where they are still monitored, but is more comfortable.  We wrap the animals in blankets and have warming bags with them as anesthesia can cause the animal to feel cold.  For canine surgical patients, we have orthopedic beds that ensure your pets comfort.

For less invasive surgeries (castrations, dental procedures, etc) your pet would be sent home the same day.  Surgeries that involve entering the body cavity (Ovariohysterectomies, cystotomies, foreign body surgeries, etc) are more invasive so we keep them overnight so we have more time to monitor their recovery, and do a post-operative exam the next day.  When we send your pet home, we will make a discharge appointment for you with our veterinary technicians to discuss what to expect during the recovery process and the home care instructions for your pet post-surgery.  We also have your pet come back for several re-check exams during their recovery period, to make sure that they are healing well.  These re-checks are free of charge.

The above steps are considered imperative to decrease the complications of any surgical procedure.  While shortcuts may provide cost savings to a client, the added risks far outweigh that financial benefit.  If the well being of your pet is your main concern please ensure that none of our above recommendations are skipped when looking for a veterinarian to perform your pets surgery.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions and ensure you are comfortable with the answers you are provided before proceeding with your pet’s surgery or anaesthetic.  Top class veterinarians who utilize cutting-edge surgical and anaesthetic veterinary equipment perform our surgeries. We have performed thousands of surgeries at Glendale, so if your pet requires surgery trust that he or she will receive the top-of-the-line surgical care.

 

When you bring your animal to us for surgery, they should be fasted for about 10 hours.  This is recommended to prevent possible complications for your best friend while under anesthetic.  If you have elected to perform pre-anesthetic bloodwork (which we strongly believe in and recommend), one of our registered veterinary technicians (RVT) would take a small blood sample that we run here in house.  Once we have these results, and as long as they are normal, one of the RVT’s will evaluate your pet noting heart rate and rhythm, respirations and lung sounds, pulse quality, temperature, demeanour or any presenting health concerns that may be affected by anesthesia. A catheter is then placed in one of your pet’s front legs (so they will have a shaved spot when they go home) in order to give anesthetic, medications and to have the ability to give medications quickly in the event of an emergency.

Your pet will then be given a mild sedation to relax your pet and prepare them for surgery.  Once this medication has had a chance to take effect, your pet is then given an injection of an anesthetic so we can place an endotracheal tube down the pet’s throat.  This allows us to deliver a gas anesthetic that is tailored to your individual pets needs.

Once the surgery is complete, your pet’s recovery is monitored.  They are watched constantly as they are waking up, to ensure your pet is comfortable, relaxed and not stressed.  Once the animal has awoken from anesthetic and is stable, your pet is transferred to a recovery cage or run.  This is a quieter area where they are still monitored, but is more comfortable.  We wrap the animals in blankets and have warming bags with them as anesthesia can cause the animal to feel cold.  For canine surgical patients, we have orthopedic beds that ensure your pets comfort.