Guide to Elective Surgery and Procedures
Thank you for
recognizing your pet may need to undergo an elective procedure such
as spay or neutering.
Many people “shop around” for the best price on this surgery,
without the knowledge of why the cost varies among veterinary
practices. This guide
was put together to help you find the best fit between the
veterinary practice and your expectations for the care of your
What pre-anesthesia evaluation
will my pet have prior to surgery?
important for a number of reasons. A physical examination is
our first defense against performing surgery on an animal that may
have infectious disease, a heart murmur, or be debilitated from
What safety precautions will be
taken with my pet during surgery?
most surgery is uneventful, emergencies sometimes arise. Early detection of
impending problems greatly aids our ability to intervene and
correct the problem.
catheter will be placed prior to anesthesia induction. The IV catheter is our port for
providing emergency drugs in case of emergency. IV fluids will be administered to
help maintain blood pressure, provide internal organ support and to
help keep your pet from becoming dehydrated.
breathing tube will be placed (intubation) on all anesthetized
animals. This keeps
the airway open and allows for supplemental oxygen or gas
anesthesia as needed. This tube is also very important to prevent
aspiration into the lungs if a pet vomits or otherwise has excess
fluids/materials in its mouth. If there is an aspiration, this
can cause a serious pneumonia.
respiratory monitor and heart (EKG) monitor, blood oxygen monitor
and patient temperature allows the surgeon to keep track of heart
rate and rhythm. We
also have a “crash box” handy, which contains emergency drugs and
What safety precautions will be
taken with my pet after surgery?
patients lose body heat through anesthesia and the opening of body
cavities. Warmth will
be provided during and after anesthesia. If patients get cold the
pet becomes uncomfortable and the heart can be affected. Patient temperature will be
monitored at regular intervals after surgery and supplemental
heating provided as needed. Your pet’s gum color, pulse, and
respiration will also be monitored.
How will pain be controlled for
very important - surgery hurts! The anesthetic will not provide
pain control once the pet wakes up. Pain should be controlled before,
during and after the day of surgery. Butorphanol, or torb, is not
manage your pet’s pain before we even begin the surgical procedure
by using a combination protocol that combats the pain pathways from
injectable medications, local blocks, constant-rate infusions,
as well as medications to go home, all included in the cost of the
surgery. No pet should
have to hurt!
Will I receive written
post-surgical care instructions for my
Aftercare of surgical patients is very important for proper
healing. The hospital
will provide written discharge instructions for your
Where will my pet’s surgery be
is performed in a room designated for surgery
Preparation of the patient
the pet is in the hospital on the morning of the procedure, your
pet will receive a brief examination, medication to relax him/her
as well as pain medication.
Surgical preparation and attire of surgeon and
Surgeons and assistants prepare themselves to prevent
contamination by wearing a surgical cap and mask. They scrub their hands before
donning a sterile surgical gown and
Surgical instruments and supplies
Instruments used are be of high quality and well cared
for. Using less than
high quality instruments can lead to increased tissue trauma and
increased pain and a longer healing time. The surgical pack of instruments
are used on only one pet, then cleaned, lubricated, repackaged and
sterilized, just as in human hospitals, to prevent infections.
suture materials we use are prepackaged for single use and have a
swaged on needle, meaning the suture material is one piece with the
needle and is inserted into the rear end of the needle. This allows for very tiny,
atraumatic punctures that produce less pain and tissue trauma. The materials we use cause
less reaction, with less pain and tissue trauma/inflammation,
allowing faster healing and greater security.
surgeries for spays and neuters are performed swiftly and with
skill at most hospitals. We have mentioned many things
that can change how the patient is after the surgery even if the
typical owner cannot appreciate the difference.