The night before surgery:
It is very important that you do not feed your pet after 7:30 p.m. the night before surgery. Water is fine. If food is given, surgery most likely will be postponed and rescheduled due to possible complications with anesthesia. If you have concerns about this, please let our staff know well in advance of the surgery day.
Prior to Surgery
When arriving, please allow fifteen minutes at check-in to complete necessary paperwork and to answer some questions. You will be required to sign a hospital admittance form allowing us to provide the services indicated by the estimate. You will also be asked to provide contact phone information so we may call you if we have additional questions.
It is very important for us to perform thorough pre-surgical exams, to help detect any abnormalities that may complicate surgery. This includes auscultating (listening) the heart for any murmurs or irregular beats, and listening to the lungs for any wheezing, obvious congestion, or respiratory conditions. A veterinarian will evaluate the condition of the eyes, mouth, abdomen, ears, skin and hair coat, as well as the musculoskeletal system to determine any other medical conditions.
Pre-surgical blood screens are always required now for our patients. This evaluates the function of the liver, kidneys and other internal organs, to ensure that they are healthy enough to metabolize the anesthetic agents used. It also helps us determine if there is an underlying infection, anemia, or dehydration that needs to be addressed before undergoing anesthesia.
With the pre-surgical evaluation completed, the veterinarian and technician will decide on the proper pre-anesthetic protocol used prior to surgery. This is a calculated amount of various types of drugs that help your pet to stay calm and comfortable before the procedure begins.
We have several options available to induce anesthesia. Again, careful consideration will be taken to choose the appropriate combination of injectable agents, and/or inhalant gas for your pet. Upon induction of anesthesia, close anesthetic monitoring is always done by one of our licensed veterinary technicians throughout the entire surgical procedure, and well after recovery. We have the ability to monitor several vital signs, including pulse, heart rate and rhythm, respiratory rate, blood pressure, temperature, and oxygen saturation with anesthetic monitoring equipment and esophageal stethoscopes. Anesthesia is adjusted as needed throughout the surgery, always making certain that your pet is not feeling any pain, but will wake up as quickly as possible.
When necessary, an intravenous catheter is placed in one of your pets legs. Intravenous catheters provide an emergency port to administer any necessary drugs should the need arise during surgery. The catheter also allows for administration of IV fluids or pain medications. These fluids help keep the liver, kidneys, and internal organs supported, perfused, and functioning while under anesthesia. The IV catheter and fluids will remain running into your pet throughout the day and overnight after surgery, as applicable.