I love American Animal Care Center

I love American Animal Care Center

Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet’s surgery and we hope this handout will help. Sometimes surgery is inevitable. The doctors and staff at American Animal Hospital take our responsibilities in surgery seriously and we take every safety precaution possible during all procedures. Our state of the art surgical suites provide us with advanced anesthesia and anesthesia monitoring, and a heated surgical table. We use equipments and supplies found at high quality human hospitals.

The Doctors of AAH are highly-trained professionals and are excellent surgeons. Surgical care and treatment begins upon admission to the hospital and does not end until the animal is fully recovered from his or her procedure. When necessary, a board certified specialist can be consulted or utilized for special or unusual cases.

Is The Anesthetic Safe?

Today’s modern anesthetics and anesthesia monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. We perform a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics to ensure that a fever or other illness won’t be a problem. We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet. Pre-anesthetic blood testing, described below, is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. Animals that have minor dysfunctions will handle the anesthetic better if they get IV fluids during surgery.

Pre Op Instructions

No food after 10pm the evening before surgery (except for rabbits who don’t need to be fasted).
No water or any other liquids after 6.30am the morning of the surgery
Please bring your pet to the hospital between 7am – 10am the morning of the procedure.
You can call us after 3pm to check on his/her condition.
If your pet is to have stitches she will not be able to be bathed for at least 14 days. Therefore, we recommend a bath the day before surgery if this is of concern to you. This will also mean he/she is clean for surgery.

Hospital Admission

On arrival you will be asked to fill in a surgery consent form
The surgery consent form has questions relating to your pet’s health and also explains options and estimated costs of the procedure. Please allow 20 minutes to discuss important information about your pet’s surgery.
If your pet is to have stitches then the estimate will include purchase of an Elizabethan collar
Things to consider on Surgery admission

Pre-Anesethic Blood Testing
Blood tests prior to anesthesia and surgery allow us to assess internal organ function to help reduce anesthetic risks. Internal organ abnormalities can not always be picked up on physical examination.

Intravenous Fluids
Any anesthetic and surgery will reduce your pet’s blood pressure. Intravenous fluids help maintain blood pressure and thereby support your pet’s internal organs, including the kidneys. If you choose this option your pet is placed on fluids in the morning before the procedure and removed in the evening prior to going home.

Pain Relief Medication
Any surgical procedure may cause your pet some post operative pain. Pain relief is given in hospital. We also recommend ongoing pain relief for a few days once you take your pet home from hospital.

The surgery consent form includes an estimate of the cost of your pet’s procedure and we ask you to leave a contact phone number (emergency number) where you can be reached on all day.

Hospital/Surgical Information

Preparation for surgery: Your pet will be given a thorough physical examination and a pre anesthetic pain relief and sedative injection before surgery. After anesthetic induction your pet is connected to monitors and the skin around the surgical area is clipped and scrubbed with antiseptic. All equipment is sterilized and surgery staff scrub with antiseptic and wear appropriate clothing and gloves throughout the operation.

Your pet may also have a small area of hair clipped from a front leg where the intravenous
anaesthetic was injected and where intravenous fluids are given.

Anesthesia: General anesthetic, sedation or both may be used. Some risk is involved depending on your pet’s age and condition and any pre-existing problems.
These risks can be reduced by performing pre anesthetic blood work and putting the patient on IV fluids for the procedure.

Monitoring: Important monitoring of your pet’s heart rate, breathing, temperature, oxygen levels and other parameters will occur throughout the operation and during recovery. Your pet will be connected to a respiratory monitor and pulse oximeter throughout all general anesthesia procedures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the stomach need to be empty?
If you have had a general anesthetic in the past you will know that a period of fasting is recommended. The same applies to our pets. This is because vomiting can sometimes occur during recovery and the vomitus may be inhaled leading to pneumonia. If the stomach is empty there is less chance of vomiting.

What happens when surgery is over?
Monitoring of your pet starts from the time they are admitted, to anesthetic induction, continues throughout the entire surgery, and goes right throughout the recovery period. After surgery is finished, pets are moved to a comfortable cage with appropriate comfortable bedding where they are supervised as they wake up. Vets and nurses observe your pet’s vital signs closely.

What do I do when I take my pet home?
Your pet may still be a little groggy or sleepy when you get her home. A goods night rest is all that is usually needed so it is important she is kept quiet and comfortable. Do not allow children or other pets to excite her. You will be advised on discharge from hospital on food and water for your pet but you should ensure she doesn’t overeat or drink for the first 24 hours.

We will discuss individual post operative needs on discharge.

These instructions will include recommendation of purchasing an elizabethan collar if your pet has stitches, drains, bandages or open wounds.

Please read and follow these instructions carefully so that your pet has the best chance of a smooth recovery from his/her procedure.

If you have any questions at all then please don’t hesitate to call us on 510-791-0464

American Animal Care Center is an awesome pet hospital. I did not know that laser surgery was possible for animals. I was surprised when they mentioned it to me. I remember having surgery for myself with a laser and I noticed that I didn’t feel any pain or aches afterwards. When I heard that my dog could be neutered with a laser, I immediately asked for it. The price was about $50 extra but it seeems to be well worth it. Rocky didn’t feel anything afterwards. When he came out to see me, I was wondering whether the surgery was done because he seemed to happy! I attribute most of that to the fine work done at my friends at American Animal Care Center and the magic of the laser. Rocky had like no swelling, pain, or bleeding! This was truly amazing and I would recommend that you consider this as an option on your pet’s surgery.

Here is a link to a site on laser surgery: http://www.petlasers.com/ and here is the link for the laser surgery performed at American Animal Care Center: http://www.americananimalcare.com/pet_laser_surgery.html

When comparing veterinary hospitals, one has to look at what is the difference between the hospitals. I analyzed all of the hospitals in the Tri-City area and I came up with the following analysis based on facts. These are questions you need to ask when selecting your pet hospital:

1. How long has the hospital been established?
American Animal Care Center has been established over 21 years. It is family owned and the second generation has taken over where the first generation left off. There are some fly by operations but they have not tested the time. Others are corporate owned veterinary hospitals and they lack the personal touch. They are numbers focused and see you as a number.

2. How many clients do they have?
American Animal Care Center has over 56,000 clients and over 90,000 patients.

3. Visit the facility and see if there are any actual customers.
There has not been a time where I have been to American Animal Care Center and I have not seen multiple customers and pets. Many hospitals are part time facilities. They don’t have many clients.

4. Are there abundant staff members in the facililty?
If a hospital doesn’t have enough staff members, don’t expect them to be able to care for your pet properly. The veterinarian alone can only do so much. If there is not an abundant amount of support staff you can forget that your pet will be properly cared for. American Animal Care Center employs staff members every day of the year including weekends, evenings, and holiday. There are multiple veterinarians, technicians, veterinary assistants, receptionists, attendants, kennel staff, cleaning staff, and janitors.

5. Is there care after 6pm? What about on weekends?
Many veterinarians close up there shop and leave the pets unattended overnight. There is no one present to monitor the pets or take care of them. American Animal Care Center always has a veterinarian on the premises at ALL times.

6. Is the hospital American Animal Hospital Associate accredited? http://www.healthypet.com/
The state has very minimal requirements and many low quality hospitals meet the minimum requirements set by the state. AAHA is a special organization that goes above and beyond the state requirements and recognizes the top 10% of hospitals in the country. American Animal Care Center is an AAHA hospital and has the highest accredidation possible of a full four years.

7. Are there multiple doctors who can get second opinions from each other?
It is very important to go to a facility that has many veterinarians. This allows the veterinarians to bounce idea off each other and to consult on cases. Furthermore, each veterinarian has his or her own interests. Some veterinarians are excellent surgeons but are not so interested in Dermatology (skin diseases). Other veterinarians love internal medicine but loathe surgery. Having a diverse staff and multiple veterinarians is good for your pet.

8. Do they offer emergency care, evening or weekend care?
Many veterinarians are not available when you need them. They make you go to the local emergency clinic which charges an arm and a leg. The prices are exorbitant and they keep shuttling you back and forth. American Animal Care Center is one stop shopping! They are available all of the time to see your pet.

9. Do they have access to veterinary specialists?
Many smaller practices can not afford to hire specialists to consult. American Animal Care Center retains several specialists at all times to consult on complicated cases or surgeries.

10. Are they affordable?
Many hospitals just charge too much. American Animal Care Center price shops the competition and guarantees the best price. Checkups here cost a little less than $30.

11. Do the veterinarians see a large volume of cases?
Some local veterinarians claim to be perfect. Well, perfect means that you don’t do much! If anyone says they are perfect that means they only see a very few patients, they don’t do anything more than shots or limited medical and surgical work. The perfect veterinarian is one with minimal experience or the kind that passes the buck. The veterinarians at AACC have seen a large variety of cases and many complex cases. They are not afraid to take on the “risky cases”and they are willing to fix many of these cases that the other practices gave up on. This volume of cases that a veterinarian must see to become proficient is very important. This is what separates the men from the boys. Many veterinarians shy away from anything that seems a little complex and they pass the buck for the next guy to figure out.

12. Does the practice have an ultrasound? Are any of the regular veterinarians trained to use or interpret ultrasound?
Ultrasound can be used to examine organs without surgery. It is almost like performing exploratory surgery without even seeing the pet.

13. Do they have low cost vaccination and spay/neuter programs?
Lets face it, vaccinations and spay/neuters are basic commodoties that all pets need. Why do some veterinarians make it so expensive and so hard to attain for many pet owners. American Animal Care Center keeps the prices low so that everyone can afford these basic necessities.

14. Do they support local causes and get involved in local programs?
The owners of American Animal Care Center are very active in civic programs, volunteering, and supporting local nonprofit organizations. They give back tens of thousands to the community.

15. Do they subscribe to the Veterinary Information Network (VIN)?
Veterinary Information Network allows veterinarians to get multiple opinions from thousands of specialists and veterinarians all across the United States. The doctors at American Animal Care Center are active participants of VIN and use this modality to consult all of there cases.