Admit: Each pet has a specified time the morning of surgery for a technician to go over the surgery and estimate with the owner. At this time we discuss the different options owners have and answer any question the owner has before the procedure. For cats over 9 years old and dogs over 7 years old we require pre-anesthetic bloodwork and an IV catheter/fluids for surgical procedures. For pet’s under those age requirements we don’t require it, but we still recommend it.
Pre-ansethetic bloodwork: Even pets appearing healthy can have significant kidney or liver disease which limits their ability to handle some anesthetics. Testing helps us evaluate the health of your pet’s organs so we can alter the anesthetic protocol if necessary and, therefore, reduce anesthetic risks.
IV catheter/fluids: An intravenous catheter allows us immediate venous access if an emergency situation should arise while your pet is under anesthesia. In addition, providing fluid therapy during anesthesia helps to maintain your pet’s blood pressure, helps their organs clear the anesthetic drug and contributes to a quicker, smoother recovery.
Every pet gets a pre-surgical exam the morning of surgery. At this time the doctor does a complete physical to make sure the pet is healthy enough to receive anesthesia. They also look to make sure there are no retained deciduous (baby) teeth, no fleas, ear or skin problems.
Each pet is given a pre-anesthetic injection about 10 minutes before the surgery. This injection typically contains a small amount of sedative and a narcotic pain reliever depending on the species and procedure. The purpose of this injection is two fold: to give pre-emptive pain medicine, as well as, make them a little sleepy so less gas anesthesia is needed during the procedure.
Each pet is given an injectable form of anesthesia intravenously to induce unconsciousness so that we can intubate them and start gas anesthesia. We typically use a ketamine/valium combination for our injectable anesthetic, however, when indicated we do have Propofol. We do not use barbiturates (pentothal) which are very depressive to cardiac output and often impact the patient throughout the day.
The white mat the dog is on is a heating pad to keep him nice and warm while he is being prepped for surgery.
Animals are unable to blink while under anesthesia so we use artificial tears ointment to keep their eyes lubricated during the surgery.
Intubating allows us to administer the gas anesthesia (isoflurane) along with oxygen at a controlled rate to keep them asleep for the entire procedure.
As soon as the pet is intubated and hooked up to the anesthesia machine we put a pulse-ox probe on their tongue to measure their oxygen saturation and heart rate.
The surgical site is shaved to keep hair from entering the sterile field during surgery.
The surgical site is scrubbed with an antiseptic scrub then wiped with alcohol saturated gauze. This is done a total of three times to ensure the surgical site is clean.
The pet is moved to the surgical suite and placed on their back on the heated surgical table. At this time they are hooked up to our Surgi-Vet Advisor. This monitor gives us a wealth of information. This machine allows us to monitor their heart rate, EKG, oxygen and carbon dioxide saturation,as well as, blood pressure. During the entire procedure one licensed veterinary technician’s only job is to make sure the pet’s vital signs all stay within normal limits and to adjust the gas anesthesia throughout the procedure.
A new sterile surgical pack is used for each procedure. The actual surgery is not shown to please the queasy.
A canine neuter (castration) starts with an incision just above the scrotum. Each testicle is then pushed through the incision one at a time. The tissues are doubly ligated with ligatures and each testicle is removed.
Deep closure and skin closure is performed using monosorb suture followed by a small amount of glue. All sutures are absorbable and will not need to be removed.
When the surgery is almost complete the gas anesthesia is turned off. The effects of it still last until the procedure is complete. The pet is then kept on oxygen alone until they start to blink.
Once they are blinking, the pet is brought to their recovery cage to continue waking up. The endotracheal tube stays in and they are monitored continually until they are able to swallow.
After surgery a technician enters all of the notes associated with that surgery into the computer (we only use computer records, we do not have paper records anymore) and updates the charges. Each owner will receive a copy of the notes at discharge time.
Neuters go home the same day of surgery. Each discharge is for a scheduled period of time so that a technician can go over all of the written instructions and answer any questions the owners might have.