Our surgical suite allows us to provide a wide variety of procedures, from standard spays and neuters to more complex orthopedic surgeries. By enlisting the services of Steven Cudia, VMD of Veterinary Surgical Services., we make it possible for clients to have many surgeries performed here at LOVC that would otherwise necessitate travel to more distant specialty clinics.
Because you pet is part of our family as well as yours, we follow the strict surgical guidelines set forth by AAHA (the American Animal Hospital Association) to take every precaution possible to ensure your pet's well being. Before any surgery, a full exam (nose to tail and all points in between) will be completed. Since anesthesia will be used during surgical procedures, it is important for us to understand as much as possible about your pet's health. Therefore a full chemistry, a check of electrolytes and a complete blood test will be done. While some practices do mini-chemistries, LOVC feels that the more extensive testing will provide the most complete picture possible of your pet's health and lessen the chances of any negative reactions to anesthesia. If the tested blood sample indicates any abnormalities, we will stop there and address the problem. If all is well, we will send your pet home (for elective surgeries) with pain medication and schedule her/him for surgery. We use pain medication generously and will have you start this the day before surgery. A number of studies have shown that by starting pain medications prior to surgery pets are likely to experience less discomfort than they would if pain medication were administered only after surgery.
You pet will be admitted to the hospital on the morning of surgery. (On the day prior to surgery we will ask you to fast your pet after midnight.) After a quick physical recheck, your pet will be given additional pain medication (hydromorphone and torbutrol, both injectable) to insure their comfort. If needed, atropine will be given as well to prevent excessive salivation/drooling. Next, we will administer a sedative to make them drowsy. An intravenous catheter will then be placed into a vein in one of their?s legs. This is done for two reasons. Blood pressure drops under anesthesia. We can support blood pressure by giving intravenous fluids through this catheter. Also, if an unexpected problem develops, having a catheter already in place can be very important.
It is at this point that they will begin to receive gas anesthetic (a combination of oxygen and isoflurane) and be prepared for their procedure. After they are asleep an endotracheal tube will be placed into their windpipe to insure that they are breathing only the anesthetic gas combination we want her to breathe. This tube also prevents water and saliva from entering the trachea and lungs during the procedure.
Your pet will also be connected to a monitor that will show their heart rate, their breathing rate and how well their lungs are functioning. One of our trained surgical technicians will be with your pet during the entire time they are under anesthesia and will be responsible for monitoring their vital signs.
Once they are safely under anesthesia, we will begin surgical preparation. The fur will be shaved from surgical area (if applicable). This area will be gently scrubbed and washed to remove as much bacteria as possible. An antiseptic iodine spray will then be applied to the skin as a further disinfectant.
After their incision has been closed, the anesthesia is turned off and they are allowed to wake breathing only oxygen. Once they are sufficiently awake, the endotracheal tube will be removed and they will be placed in a padded cage or run so they can wakeup safely. The average time a pet is fully under anesthesia until the procedure is complete and the incision closed is approximately one hour.
Once the surgery is completed, one of our experienced technicians will give you a call to let you know how they are doing and will give you instructions about when to call back to confirm a discharge time (if a same day surgery).
At the time of discharge, the veterinarian will let you know about ?after care? for your pet. They will discuss ways for you to insure your pet's comfort with take home pain medication and to protect the surgical incision. If the procedure requires suture or staple removal or additional follow up, appointments will be scheduled.
One of our staff will followup with phone calls periodically to make sure your pet is doing OK and recovery is progressing.