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What happens with your beloved fur baby when you leave them here for an anesthetic procedure?
First, they are set up in a comfy kennel. If they haven’ t yet had their bloodwork done, we draw a little blood and run it on our in house machine to ensure that all their internal organs are doing what they should and to help us tailor our anesthesia drugs to your pet.
An iv catheter is placed and your pet is started on fluid therapy and pain medications and/or sedatives to make sure we are preventing the pain response early and calming the little nerves that can come with being in the hospital. Fluids are given to ensure proper hydration, control blood pressure and to help the internal organs to flush out the anesthetic drugs. A catheter allows a non painful way of giving the anesthetic drugs, allowing us to tailor the medications to your specific pet and gives us access to the blood supply should any emergency medications be needed.
Once sedated, a breathing tube is placed to ensure no issues with their breathing and to make sure they are getting all the oxygen they need. They are placed on oxygen mixed with an inhaled sedative to keep them under anesthesia and to allow us to give them the safest amount of drugs during their procedure.
They are then placed on a cushioned mat with our Cloud 9 warming system. Imagine a cloud of warm air surrounding you. This is exactly what it is. A bubble of warm air to ensure that your pet’s temperature stays stable while under anesthesia.
Pets are monitored in many ways. Most importantly, they have a personal veterinary anesthetic nurse with them at all times, monitoring their vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen concentration, temperature, etc). They are also monitored using high quality anesthetic equipment which helps our nurses to better assess your pet, including an ECG.
They are given pain medication before and after their procedure, and we use a local nerve block at the site of any incision to further decrease any pain to your pet. If you’ve ever had your tooth numbed for a filling, it is similar to this, which is exactly what we do for any dental extractions.
If your pet is having a dental procedure, this is when we take digital xrays of the mouth, to allow us to see what is happening at the root of the teeth. A thorough cleaning is performed and all the teeth are examined and charted. If any extractions are needed, the areas are numbed before and sutured closed after the extractions. The teeth are then polished to prevent further tartar buildup and a fluoride treatment is performed.
At the end of your pet’s procedure, the nurses are with them until they are ready to be moved to recovery where they are cocooned in a blanket to keep them cozy while the iv fluids are continued to help them to flush out the drugs and so that we can continue to monitor them until they are ready to walk out the door, perhaps a little more quiet than when they came in but happy, awake and NON painful. This is why we keep them a little extra time.
We perform our anesthesia procedures depending on the patients that day and the procedures. There is a mix of reasons why the doctors choose the order, but they are all in the best interest of the pets there that day. So not to fret if your patient isn’t done first. They are all done in a manner to allow one on one nursing care and to make sure they can walk out the door with their tail wagging or purr in their throat.