- You should withhold food and water after 8pm. The drugs used for pain relief and anesthesia can cause some nausea, and withholding food and water helps to minimize this.
- No food or water should be offered for breakfast today.
- Be sure to arrive at your scheduled appointment time so we can quickly get your pet admitted for surgery.
- You will check-in with our receptionist, and she will call a veterinary assistant to handle the admission of your pet.
- The veterinary assistant will take you and your pet to a room and go over the admission
The veterinary assistant will present you with some options for surgery:
- 1. Pre-anesthetic bloodwork - We recommend pre-anesthetic bloodwork for all patients undergoing surgery. If you're pet is over 5 years of age we require it. We want to be sure that we're aware of any undiscovered issues such as decreased liver or kidney function or an underlying infection. The bloodwork will measure liver enzymes, kidney enzymes, glucose levels, total protein, white and red blood cell counts, and electrolytes. For younger patients bloodwork is highly recommended. It can reveal congenital issues or infections that might affect their fitness to undergo anesthesia. We reschedule about 1 surgery per week after finding anomolies in the bloodwork results. Usually we are able to treat the problem, and more thoroughly discusss any risks associated with anesthesia with you to help you make an informed decision. If we do discover anything abnormal then you will hear from us immediately.
- 2. IV catheter and fluids - We strongly recommend that every pet undergoing surgery be administered fluids through an intravenous catheter during the procedure. For pets over the age of 5 or pets with any heart problem we require this. Having a catheter placed in the vein makes surgery safer. If any expected complications arise we have instant access to a vein and can adminsiter lifesaving drugs immediately. Frequently, when patients have anesthetic difficulties their blood pressure drops. This can make finding a vein extremely difficult and lengthen the time it takes to provide them with emergency medications needed to save their lives. We run fluids at a steady rate throughout the procedure. This helps maintain hydration because of the 12 hour fast with no water. Fluids and proper hydration also help to metabolize the anesthesia more quickly. Finally proper hydration and intravenous fluids help to ensure a speedier and smoother recovery from the anesthesia.
- 3. Pain Medication - As you might expect surgeries can often be painful. We recommend that all patients receive pain medication following surgery. For some procedures, especially spays, we very strongly recommend it. Spays are major abdominal surgery, and can be very painful. The antiinflammatory properties of the pain medications help to speed healing as well.
- 4. Microchip implantation - While your pet is under anesthesia is a great time to have a tracking microchip implanted. While it can be done awake, the needle is quite large, and it's painfree when done under anesthesia. More pets die from being lost than from any other cause. Having a microchip is the most important thing you can do to ensure that if your pet becomes lost he will be returned to you.
- For any abdominal surgery, such as a spay, make sure not to allow your pet to stretch their stomach muscles. This means no jumping on couches, beds, or people. There are often sutures under the skin that you can see. These sutures are holding the abdominal all closed, and we don't want them to rip or break.
- No bathing until the sutures are removed. If there are no sutures, then no bathing for 10 days.
- Monitor your pet very closely for chewing or excessive licking. In very little time they can completely remove sutures even reopening the original surgical incision. If your pet was given an elizabethan collar (the big cone) while at the hospital you should leave it on at all times until the sutures are removed. Even very brief removal can be anough time for a pet to cause a lot of damage to a surgical site.
- Watch the incision area for signs of swelling or oozing. If there is any oozing let us know immediately. Report any redness or swelling.
- Give medications as directed. We sometimes give antibiotic injections with during a surgery. Additional antibiotics are usually unecessary because the procedure itself is sterile.
- If you had your cat declawed, make sure to use paper littler for 1-2 weeks until the feet are completely healed. Do not allow them to get clumping or clay litter in the wounds on their feet.