Surgery can be an anxious occasion, not only for your pet but also for you, the owner. Knowing a little of what goes on ‘out the back’ may provide you with some ease. Vets perform routine surgeries such as desexings, lump removals, stitch-ups, caesareans and intestinal surgeries almost every day. So, they sometimes may forget the anxiety involved for pet owners.
Veterinary surgery is much like human surgery. Once pets are admitted, they have a pre-anaesthetic check, which may involve blood tests. If your pet is older or unwell, a pre-anaesthetic blood test is strongly advised to ensure your pet is healthy enough for the surgical procedure.
Once your pet has been checked over and deemed fit for surgery, it is given a pre-medication. This provides some sedation to reduce the anxiety and also some pain relief for the animal to have prior to surgery. The pre-med is designed and calculated for each individual animal. Your pet is then placed in a cage, to allow time for the pre-med to take effect.
When it is your pet’s time for surgery, he/she is transported to the treatment area and placed on the table. This is where your pet will be anaesthetised and prepped for surgery. Veterinary anaesthesia is the same as humans. We place an intravenous catheter and connect fluids. Through this catheter, we inject an induction anaesthetic agent. Once the animal is unconscious, we then place an endotracheal tube (ET tube) and connect to anaesthetic gas. Lots of monitoring devices are then placed on your animal to ensure all aspects of the anaesthetic are carefully monitored.
Your pet is then prepared for surgery, which involves clipping and scrubbing the appropriate area, so it is clean for the procedure. Once this has been completed, your pet is transported into the theatre which is a designated room for surgery.
After surgery, your pet is moved to a recovery cage where he/she is monitored closely while recovering from the anaesthetic. During this time, external heat such as heat pads, heat packs and blankets are placed around and under your pet to make sure the recovery is as smooth as possible. When your pet is sitting up in the recovery cage, he/she is taken back to the appropriate ward where they rest peacefully.
During the recovery phase, animals are watched closely to see what pain level they are experiencing. Unlike humans, animals are unable to tell us when they are in pain, so having experienced, caring nurses who are dedicated to observing the signs of pain is extremely valuable. All pets receive pain relief during the procedure and each pet will have a tailored pain relief plan to take home with them, depending on the procedure they have had. Some patients may need to stay in hospital overnight to ensure their pain is kept controlled.
Surgical equipment used during veterinary surgery is sterilised and cleaned the same as it is in human surgery. All instruments are sterilised in an autoclave and used once for a patient before being cleaned appropriately and sterilised again.
Veterinary care for exotics, dogs & cats in Hervey Bay
Our fear-free approach ensures your pet and you have a stress-free experience with keeping your animals healthy.