Whether it’s a routine spay at 8 months old or a splenectomy after a splenic mass has ruptured, surgical times are stressful for owners and pets. Understandably so. We strive to communicate with you in a way that you will understand what is going to take place both before and after the surgery. A doctor, technician, or office support person will talk with you about the treatment plan, hospitalization, cost, and if a deposit is required prior to the surgery. If you do not understand something, please ask again. Our goal is for you and your pet to have a positive outcome. We send home after care instructions, antibiotics, pain control medications, or any other necessary medications, do follow up calls to check on your pet, schedule follow up appointments if needed, and provide suture removal 2 weeks after the surgery (unless told differently).
Risks with surgery and anesthesia do exist, no exceptions. It may be minor swelling, bruising, or drainage that comes with the territory of most surgeries. Or, could be more serious like wound openings, infection, or severe bleeding. In very rare cases, surgeries may be catastrophic. The doctors at Shelley Drive Animal Clinic will let you know their concerns specifically regarding your pet and their situation.
Anesthesia alone carries risk but we would like for you to know that we use the very best safest anesthetics that are available, many of them are the same things that they would use on you in surgery. Every patient has a skilled technician monitoring them during their procedure from the time the pre-op medicines are given until that animal is awake and in recovery. Your pet is never left alone. We have the aid of several pieces of digital monitoring equipment constantly observing your pet including temperature, pulse ox for oxygen levels, EKG, heart rate, blood pressure, and esophageal stethoscopes. But we still prefer a hands-on approach to patient monitoring; assessing the patient directly and using the monitors for support.
Preanesthetic bloodwork is optional in routine spays, neuters, and dental cleanings, but may be required in sick patients. This allows us to “see” how your pet’s organs are functioning and look at complete blood counts which can reveal elevated white blood cell counts, low red blood cell counts, and even abnormal platelet counts.
Some things that we do to help ensure the best outcome for your pet includes placing IV catheters and giving IV fluids during the surgery to help replace volume that maybe lost. Offering injectable pain medications as well as using local anesthetic at incision sights help to keep your pet as pain-free as possible. Warming mats are also used to help regulate your pet’s body temperature during and after surgery. Most surgeries are kept in the clinic overnight at no additional charge unless arrangements are made otherwise.