Surgery and Your Pet, No Need to Fear!

Kelsey-and-LouAs a veterinary professional, I often wonder – how are tasks and duties I perform on a daily basis perceived by clients? Something as simple to me as obtaining a blood sample can be viewed in a completely different way from someone not involved in the field of veterinary medicine. With all this in mind, it is completely reasonable to understand why any pet parent would be nervous for their own fur baby to undergo a surgical procedure. It is important to be both educated and aware of general and specific specific precautions for each surgical procedure performed on your pet. Being an AAHA accredited hospital, we tailor our procedures to each patient’s specific needs, in order to have the safest and most positive experience at each visit.

Surgical procedures for your pet can range anywhere from routine surgeries such as spays and neuters, to mass removals, dentals, emergency procedures such as foreign body removals and pyometras. As scary as this all may sound, our team is prepared and trained to make each surgery a safe, timely procedure for each patient. Do you ever wonder what goes on prior to, during and after surgery? The following is a typical scenario and may answer a few of those questions:

Mrs. White brings in her 6 month old kitten, Tater Tot for a routine neuter procedure. As I bring Mrs.White in an exam room for admission the morning of surgery, she voices a few concerns,  “This is my first cat and I’m concerned…. I’ve never been through a surgery and I do not know what to expect

“Mrs.White, as with any surgical procedure, we will run pre-surgical blood work. This will give your doctor an opportunity to evaluate and monitor organ functioning and blood values to make sure Tater Tot is healthy and able to receive anesthesia today. If the bloodwork comes back within normal ranges, he will be evaluated physically by the veterinarian and an anesthesia protocol will be chosen to best fit him. Tater Tot will be prepared and monitored throughout his procedure according to AAHA guidelines.  After giving Tater Tot a pre-anesthetic medicine, our technician team will place an IV catheter to keep him on fluids before surgery and during recovery. This will help keep him hydrated and keep his blood pressure stable. Tater Tot will then be intubated and placed on a gas anesthetic and warm table to help keep him resting comfortably during the procedure. While the veterinarian is performing the procedure, the surgical technician will be monitoring Tater Tot with several monitors which indicate heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature and blood pressure. After the procedure is finished, the technician will continue to monitor Tater Tot while he recovers.  It is important for us to keep him warm both during and after surgery as they do not maintain their body temperature as well under anesthesia. Tater Tot will stay on fluids during this time as he recovers, and within a few hours we will follow up with you with our home care instructions.”

I could then see the relief in Mrs.White’s expression, knowing she was prepared to hand off her fur baby in good hands. Each patient’s safety is our upmost concern, and at GVH we work as a team daily to accomplish this goal.

We hope the next time your pet needs to have surgery you will know and be better prepared for the experience.  We at GVH strive for each client interaction to be positive, safe and caring.

Written By: Kelsey Beers, CVT