Deciding to spay or neuter your furry companion is a great way to help keep your pet healthy for the years to come. Having your pet undergo general anesthesia and surgery can be stressful on you as their pet parent. At Briarwood Animal Hospital, we know how important your pet is to you, and that’s why we want you to know the extra steps we take to keep your pet safe.
With all surgeries, we recommend that your pet gets bloodwork performed before they undergo general anesthesia. This is similar to bloodwork that you would have done before you had a surgical procedure done. At Briarwood, we do a comprehensive blood screen to assess if your pet has possible concerns with their liver or kidneys, the organs primarily responsible for eliminating many anesthetics. We assess to make sure your pet has adequate numbers of platelets so they can clot during and after surgery; to make sure they are not anemic; to make sure they have adequate protein levels so they can heal after surgery and many other factors. Simply checking to see if your pet is anemic (a packed cell volume or PCV) before surgery doesn’t provide enough information about the health status of your pet.
We also recommend your pet be placed on intravenous fluids during surgery. General anesthesia can decrease blood pressure, and as a result, the heart has to pump a little harder to keep all your pet’s organs happy. Providing fluids during surgery helps to take that extra workload from the heart while making sure there is adequate blood flow to the rest of the body.
When your pet is admitted for surgery, they will undergo a pre-surgical examination by a veterinarian. Your furry companion will have an anesthetic protocol tailored for their age, the procedure they will be undergoing, and a number of other factors. No cookie-cutter anesthesia here! Throughout the surgery, a registered veterinary technician will monitor your pet closely, documenting their heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation of their blood, and breathing rate. Your pet will be on a heated table because making sure their temperature is normal will help them recover from anesthesia faster. Your furry friend’s ECG is also monitored to make sure their heart is beating at a regular rhythm, another indication as to how well your pet is handling surgery.
After the surgery is completed, your pet will recover in the treatment room, ensuring they are monitored constantly by not only their primary care technician but also by the rest of the staff. When your pet goes home, you will receive a phone call in a couple of days to see how your pet is doing, and there is always a courtesy post-surgery exam about a week after surgery, just to make sure your pet is healing as well as they can be.
At Briarwood Animal Hospital, we know how stressful it can be to have your pet undergo general anesthesia and surgery. This is why we take the utmost care of your canine and feline companions and treat them like family!
Written by Adriana Morganti