Our custom anesthesia protocol is designed to be as safe and pain free as possible. Our goal is to provide human-quality anesthesia and surgery. Here’s how:
Plan to arrive with your pet between 8:15 and 8:30 AM on the day scheduled for surgery. For extenuating circumstances we may arrange to accept your pet the evening before the scheduled surgery (by 7:30 PM).
Be sure your pet fasts (no food intake) after 10:00 PM on the night prior to surgery. Normal water intake is permitted.
We will ask you to provide an emergency phone number where you can be reached on the day of surgery. It is important that you remain accessible.
A technician will record your pet’s weight, temperature, pulse and respiratory rate. The doctor will perform a pre-surgical physical exam prior to administering anesthesia.
After the exam, your pet will receive an injection of pain medication/sedative combined to help relax him or her before anesthesia.
Following the pre-surgical injection, we place an intravenous (IV) catheter. The IV catheter serves as a direct line in the event of an emergency. We also administer IV fluids during the procedure. The fluids help maintain blood pressure and flush the kidneys. This significantly benefits your pet under anesthesia and also helps smooth recovery.
After induction of anesthesia, we place an endotracheal tube in your pet’s airway to protect against aspiration. This tube is connected to an anesthetic machine that provides oxygen and isoflurane gas. Isoflurane is 99 percent metabolized in the lungs — not processed through the liver or kidneys. When we finish the procedure your pet will likely be awake in about ten minutes.
We perform the procedure using sterile gloves, a sterile drape, a sterile instrument pack, and sterile single-use suture material. A technician monitors and charts your pet’s vital signs continuously throughout the procedure for optimal safety.
After the procedure we will administer additional pain medication as needed and monitor your pet’s temperature. We limit the number of surgeries we will perform on surgery day to a maximum of four or five. We prefer to allow ample time to monitor each patient closely and provide intense individual attention from beginning to end.
We use a blanket under each pet that circulates warm water to maintain body temperature. Our ECG, blood-pressure monitor, heart rate and oxygen saturation equipment provide an ongoing assessment of your pet’s vital signs.
Our patients typically recover very smoothly. They are awake, walked, and ready to go home within hours of the procedure.
Upon the discharge of your pet you will receive a thorough explanation of the procedure and written discharge instructions. You may also take home pain medication and a special collar for your pet to prevent licking/chewing at the incision site, depending on the procedure.
Pre-operative bloodwork is optional for pets less than five years of age. We strongly recommend this blood evaluation since these tests will establish normal base line values and help us to screen pre-existing organ dysfunction. Two profiles are available: the general health profile provides 14 values and the pre-anesthetic profile provides seven values. You will receive a copy of the bloodwork report to take home for your records.
Pre-operative ECG is another pre-anesthetic diagnostic option. An ECG, run on your pet the morning of surgery, is evaluated by a cardiologist via tele-medicine before anesthesia.
Other optional procedures may be readily accomplished while your pet is under anesthesia. These include:
- Tattooing to permanently identify your pet
- SaveThisLife microchip implantation to identify your pet
- Fluoride treatment to strengthen adult teeth
- Hip radiographs as a preliminary evaluation for dysplasia common in large-breed dogs
- Ear flushing, cleaning or plucking of excess hair (in certain breeds)
A complimentary nail trim is provided with anesthesia.
A tattoo or microchip serves as a lifetime license if the paperwork is completed at the courthouse in advance of the procedure. The microchip can be implanted painlessly under anesthesia and can be networked nationally. You may choose either or both of these identification methods.