Surgery Due – What to expect on the day
Some people feel a level of anxiety when told their pet must stay at the clinic for a day to have a surgical procedure performed. It can be very daunting to leave your beloved fur-baby in the hands of someone else. We understand the trust that this requires. Here is a description of what your pet will experience during a stay in our hospital. Hopefully it will help you feel a little less apprehensive about their stay.
After being greeted and examined by the surgical vet in the morning and waiting for you to sign the admission paperwork, your pet will be taken through to the hospital area where they meet the surgical nurse on that day. This nurse will make your pet comfortable in a hospital cage. These cages have padded mattresses, blankets and even a teddy to cuddle up to for small and anxious pets. You are welcome to bring in a favourite blanket, toy or one of your own articles of clothing that carries your scent. Please only bring one item as we don’t want to lose important things!
Cats are settled into a separate area of the hospital and all pets have their own size appropriate space. All cages are labelled with the patient name, body weight and procedure. The surgery vet and nurse then order the surgery list for the day and prepare the surgery and equipment.
What Happens Prior to Surgery
Half an hour prior to the procedure, your pet is administered a premed. This premed contains both a sedative and pre-emptive pain relief. They are then taken out for a toilet walk (not cats) prior to surgery. Pets are then settled back in their cage while the premed takes effect.
Once the premed has taken effect, gentle hands place an IV catheter and fluid therapy is started. The vet then induces anaesthesia with a dose of medication into this fluid line. Once anaesthetised, your pet has an endotracheal tube positioned into the airway. This is connected to the gas anaesthesia machine, which keeps your pet under anaesthesia until the procedure is finished.
What Happens During Surgery
During anaesthesia, a dedicated anaesthetic nurse monitors your patient the entire time they are asleep. This means that every 5 minutes, they are recording on a chart all of the following. Heart rate, breathing rate, body temperature, blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, anaesthetic gas concentration and end tidal CO2 levels. They also monitor depth of anaesthesia using eye position, jaw tone and reflexes. Yes, this means anaesthetic monitoring is a constant job. No, our anaesthetic nurses do not multi-task, their sole focus is the safety of your pet. Close monitoring like this ensures that any deviations from the normal are picked up as soon as they happen and the anaesthetic can be adjusted to keep things just right. This is what you might miss out on if you choose your veterinary services based on the cheapest cost….
Prior to surgery, your pet will have the hair clipped away from the surgery site. The skin will be surgically prepared to remove all bacteria from the surface in preparation for sterile surgery. The vet will don a mask and hat and then scrub before putting on a sterile gown and surgical gloves. Your pet will be covered in surgical drapes to keep all hair and bacteria away from the surgery site.
Once the procedure is finished and more pain relief administered, the anaesthetic gas is turned off. Close monitoring continues until your pet is awake and ready to return to the recovery cages. You will be given a quick call at this point to let you know that your best friend is in recovery and that the procedure has gone as planned. You can now let out that breath you were holding all morning! They will spend about an hour in recovery being carefully watched before being returned to their hospital cage.
What Happens Before Your Pet is Discharged Home
Before home time, their IV catheter will be removed and another toilet walk offered. Some patients will be offered food, depending on their procedure. All in all it is a big day out for most pets and all of them are happy to see you at the end of the day and are looking for a big cuddle. We take extra care of those pets needing a little more security during their stay with us. It is not unusual to see one of our nurses taking phone calls with a little hospital patient on their lap.
There are no secrets at Bentons Road Vet Clinic, we take the same care of your pets as we do our own. If you would like a tour of our clinic at any time, please just ask – we are always happy to show off our wonderful clinic and answer any questions you may have. All of our nurses and vets are truly dedicated to making your pet’s stay with us a pleasant and happy experience.