Have you ever wondered what happens when your pet comes in for surgery? We’re happy to take you through the process from start to finish.
A surgical admission appointment is arranged the morning of the surgery with one of our qualified nurses to go through the admission form with you and to check that there are no further problems requiring discussion. We will also ask for a contact phone number that will allow us to speak to you during the day if needed.
If your pet has not been to our clinic before a free veterinary pre-anaesthetic examination will also be performed to overt any problems which would affect your pet having an anaesthetic or the proposed surgery. If you have any questions or concerns we would encourage you to discuss them with the vet or nurse at this stage.
Your pet is then taken into the hospital treatment area. A blood sample is taken for either our minimum blood test data base or a full blood test. We put a catheter into your pet’s vein which allows us ready access to give medications, intravenous fluids and emergency drugs. If additional intravenous fluids have been agreed on for your pet we will start these at this point to ensure optimal hydration prior to the anaesthetic. Your pet is then placed in a comfortable cage with a blanket or towel while we wait for the blood results.
The blood results will be checked by the veterinarian to ensure there are no problems requiring concern. We will phone you if we want to discuss these results with you further. Otherwise your pet will be given a sedative injection which also includes a pain relief agent to help provide a more stable anaesthetic.
A surgical nurse and veterinarian are appointed to each patient. Your pet is anaesthetised in our treatment room. The nurse prepares the anaesthetic agents and machine and assists the veterinarian while your pet is given an injection into the intravenous catheter to make him/her gradually fall to sleep. Once asleep, a tube is passed down their throat into the airway and connected up to the gaseous anaesthetic agent and oxygen which keeps your pet asleep during the procedure.
Your pet is placed on a heating mat to gently warm them during the anaesthetic. The body loses the ability to do this itself normally while anaesthetised. The surgical site will be clipped up and prepared with antiseptic solutions. We then transfer your pet into our clean, exclusive surgical suite. Both the veterinarian and nurse wear full head covers and surgical masks while in the surgery theatre. All this allows us to keep the dirt, hair and bacterial level to a minimum in the area we perform our sterile surgeries.
Throughout the anaesthetic the nurse carefully monitors your pet’s vital signs, recording on a chart the heart rate, respiratory rate, spO2 (or blood oxygen concentration), and blood pressure. All these things help us to adjust the anaesthetic level to the optimal plane. Once the surgery is finished, the anaesthetic is turned off, allowing oxygen to still flow through the machine. This helps to ‘blow-off’ the anaesthetic still in your pet’s lungs, assisting with the recovery.
The body temperature level is carefully monitored and after the anaesthetic your pet is placed in a cage in our treatment area with floor heating, with additional towels placed over him/her. We are able to continue carefully monitor our patients as they gradually continue to wake up to a normal level. Attention is paid to the pain level so that additional analgesia can be given if required.
The vet or surgical nurse will phone you shortly after the procedure to let you know how your pet is recovering, and arrange a surgical discharge time. The vet or the surgical nurse will discuss all important discharge information with you when you come to collect your pet, and we would encourage you to ask any questions you may have at this time. Of course, if there is anything you think of afterwards, or if you have any concerns or problems in the post-surgical period, please do not hesitate to phone to speak to one of our qualified nurses.