We perform a wide range of surgeries here at Ashwood Veterinary Centre.
Pets coming into our clinic for surgery are usually fasted from 10 pm the night before, but water can be available up until your appointment.
On the morning of surgery
We encourage you to make sure your pet has had a chance to go to the toilet before coming into the clinic. At the time of admittance, your pet will be carefully examined to check that there are no problems which could affect their tolerance to the anaesthetic. You will be asked to sign a consent form – a legal document similar to human medicine – permitting us to perform an anaesthetic on your pet. We ask you to sign an anaesthetic consent form, not because we fear the worst but to emphasise that the procedure does carry some risk and that you have been made aware of this. You can rest assured that your pet will be monitored carefully throughout the procedure and the recovery period.
Pre-anaesthetic blood tests
We strongly recommend a pre-anaesthetic blood test, which is done in the hospital before the operation. This gives us important information on your pet’s kidney and liver function – the organs which will process the anaesthetic. While physical examination tells us a lot about your pet’s health, it doesn’t tell us everything. We would urge all pet owners to consider pre-anaesthetic blood testing, but particularly if your pet is over 8 years of age or unwell.
Besides looking for abnormalities, these offer peace of mind and provide vital markers which can be monitored in the future.
The General Anaesthetic (GA)
Approximately 20 minutes prior to surgery, your pet will get a premedication injection. This is usually a sedative and an analgesic (painkiller) which will help to relax them. This combination ensures that your pet will not worry and will be relaxed although still awake and aware of his/her surroundings. Once the premed has settled them, we will place an IV line, through which they will get their anaesthetic – just like human medicine. Throughout their operation they will receive a gas anaesthetic through a tube in their throat – an ET tube – just like human medicine!
Once the surgery is completed, your pet will be placed into a heated kennel for recovery. This heat is important to help prevent hypothermia and associated complications that can occur if the patient’s temperature falls below normal. Surgical patients are monitored closely until they are awake and consciously breathing normally. A few hours later, your pet will be given an opportunity to empty his/her bladder and will be given a small meal. The team here at Ashwood are very keen to ensure your pet has a pain free experience and we use the most up-to-date pain regimes available. We will arrange a discharge appointment to ensure the nurse or vet has sufficient time to go through any post-op care that may be required.
At discharge, the vet or nurse will give you a post-op sheet advising owners of some of the common questions that often arise once you get home and relax with your pet. Following any procedure, you will be given a post-op appointment 3 – 5 days later with the nurse to ensure everything is healing as planned and your pet is having a comfortable recovery.