What to Expect on the Day of Surgery

The process begins when you make an appointment with our front desk staff.  You will choose a time between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m  to have your pet admitted to the hospital for the day.  During the admittance process, you will be asked some general questions regarding our pets current health status, presented with an treatment plan, or estimate, for the scheduled procedure, and you will be required to make some decisions regarding preoperative blood testing and some other optional diagnostic testing.  After you approve the treatment plan and sign the informed consent form, your pet will be taken into the hospital to begin the process.

First, a veterinarian or veterinary technician will take our pet’s vital signs. Then, if you elected to have preoperative blood testing, which we highly recommend, your pet will have its blood drawn and tested using our in-house laboratory equipment. Next, your pet will be taken to its kennel to await the results of the blood test or to continue on to the next step of the procedure which will usually be a preoperative injection. If the blood work results are abnormal, the veterinarian will call you to discuss your options. If the blood test results are normal, the preoperative injection will be administered either subcutaneously or intramuscularly to help him/her relax and become drowsy.

Next, an IV catheter will be placed, usually in one of your pet’s front legs. Remember that the pre-anesthetic injection has made the pet nice and sleepy so this process is not traumatic. Next, anesthesia is administered IV using a safe and fast-acting medication called Propofol. As soon as the pet is asleep, an endotracheal tube is inserted in its airway and gas anesthesia is initiated and this is the method which is used to keep the pet asleep for the duration of the procedure. A blood pressure monitor, pulse oximeter, temperature and EKG monitors are hooked up and also used throughout the procedure. Next, the pet is shaved, prepped, and taken to the surgical suite for surgery.

When surgery is complete, the gas anesthesia is turned off and the pet is allowed to breathe oxygen until it begins to awaken.  When the pet is awake enough to swallow, the endotrachael tube is removed and the pet is taken to its recovery kennel, where it will be kept warm and comfortable.  At this point, the doctor will usually call you to let you know that surgery is over.  He or she will also let you know when we expect your pet to be able to go home. In some cases, a discharge appointment will be made so the doctor can discuss home-care instructions with you. In most cases, you will be given a window of time in which you can come pick up your pet and a technician will go over the home-care instructions with you.