July 14, 2011
February 20, 2009
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.
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.
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.
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