What You Need to Know Before Your Pet's Upcoming Surgery
Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's surgery, and we hope this information will help. It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet's upcoming surgery.
Will a veterinarian perform a comprehensive exam prior to anesthesia the day of surgery?
At Ashland Veterinary Clinic, we will perform an exam of your pet before surgery to check for fever, heart and lung problems, general health and any other signs of illness or concerns before surgery. This exam allows us to check the health of your pet, tailor our anesthetic plan, and address other issues (retained baby teeth, skin disease, heart problems, etc.) accordingly.
What other tests are performed before my pet has surgery?
At Ashland Veterinary Clinic, we provide pre-anesthetic blood tests including a CBC (complete blood count) and Biochemical Profile. We perform these blood tests in house and have the results in minutes. The CBC allows us to check the red and white blood cell counts and shows conditions such as anemia, infection and low platelet count, etc. The Biochemical Profile checks the function of the liver, kidney, pancreas and other minerals and electrolytes. These blood tests can help us detect problems before there are obvious signs of disease in your pet. We require these blood tests in animals over seven years of age and recommend them in younger pets, also.
Will my pet have an intravenous catheter and fluids during surgery?
An intravenous (IV) catheter and fluids during all surgeries is beneficial and strongly recommended for many reasons. The sterile catheter is placed in a blood vein in the leg before general anesthesia. This catheter provides immediate access to the blood stream in the rare event that emergency medications are needed. The IV fluids work to keep the patient hydrated and also help support blood pressure and processing of anesthetic medications. We require an IV catheter and surgical fluids in all pets over seven years of age, major surgeries or long procedures, and pets that are ill. We strongly recommend surgical fluids for all pets.
What drugs or methods of anesthesia will be used on my pet?
Our veterinarians tailor our anesthetic drugs to the individual patient. We do not use "cookie cutter" protocols but have a variety of anesthetic agents available to suit the patient and the procedure. We also intubate every surgical patient with an endotracheal tube at the start of surgery to provide oxygen and protect and maintain the airway. Anesthetic gas mixed in oxygen is delivered through this tube to fine tune the depth of anesthesia. We can also breathe for the patient using this tube and machine if/when necessary. The endotracheal tube also prevents aspiration of any fluids from the esophagus into the lungs. We feel it is inappropriate NOT to intubate a patient under anesthesia for several of these safety reasons. We use pre-anesthetic medications to relax and calm pets before anesthesia. These medications also provide pain relief before the surgery begins.