No anaesthetic is risk-free, but we do everything we can to limit the risk and to reduce the stresses and strains involved. This article is designed to help you understand how we intend to care for your pet through each stage of this procedure.
Please read the instructions carefully and ensure that they have been complied with.
Please complete the form and return it with your pet – this gives us valuable information and guidance on your specific requirements.
Blood screening profiles are not mandatory but are recommended for any animal over eight years of age and will be undertaken if the veterinary surgeon in charge of your pet’s care believes them to be necessary. In either case, the use of these tests and the results will be discussed with you before your pet is anaesthetized if there are any abnormal readings.
When you bring your pet to the surgery, you will be asked to wait in reception for one of our veterinary nurses.
The nurse will check your animal’s details and ask you to sign the Anaesthetic Consent Form. Please let the nurse know of any concerns of specific requests and ensure that you leave a telephone number for contact while your pet is with us.
Please allow 15 to 20 minutes for the admission process.
Your pet will be weighed so that drug doses can be calculated and a blood sample is taken if required. Then your pet will be placed in a clean, warm, well-bedded kennel.
The order of surgery for that morning will have been pre-scheduled, but we have to allow for emergencies or other procedures that may take priority so we cannot predict exactly when your pet’s procedure will take place.
A pre-medication injection is usually given soon after admittance. The drugs given will be chosen according to each pet’s individual requirements. The function of the pre-medication is to sedate the animal, to reduce stress, to reduce the amount of the main anaesthetic agent given, to ensure a smooth post-operative recovery and to provide effective pain relief.
Most pre-meds take about half an hour to work.
Your pet is taken into the operating theatre, where general anaesthesia is induced by an injection given into the vein – the particular agent used will vary according to each animal’s requirement.
Once asleep a tube is placed into the windpipe, through the animal’s mouth. Through this, the animal breathes a mixture of anaesthetic gas and oxygen. We are now using ‘isofluorane’ as our standard anaesthetic gas. This provides a level of safety and control ahead of previously used anaesthetic agents.
During the operation, our well-trained nurses, using high-quality, up-to-date instruments, will monitor heart and breathing rates, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels under the direction of the veterinary surgeon.
In some cases, e.g. if the operation is a lengthy one or the animal is old or ill, fluids may be given by an intravenous drip. Extra pain-killers will be given if required.
At the end of the operation, your pet is allowed to regain consciousness and is then placed back in the kennel to recover fully.
During recovery, a nurse will carefully monitor your dog.
Once your dog is fully recovered and is bright, alert and capable of walking unaided, you will be able to collect him or her. Please telephone, as instructed by the admitting nurse, to find out when your pet can safely go home.
When you collect your pet, you will be asked to settle your account. A nurse will bring your pet to you and discuss the operation with you. She will tell you how you should feed your pet and what medication, e.g. pain-killers, antibiotics, you will need to give. In non-routine cases, the veterinary surgeon in charge of your case will telephone you or book an appointment to discuss the case with you.
We are happy to provide an estimate for a specific procedure. However, each case will be individually assessed and may need extra materials or medicines that could not be foreseen before anaesthesia. Where possible, the veterinary surgeon will discuss these with you. Extra procedures e.g. blood tests or further medicines e.g. pain-killers will be charged to your account in addition to the standard fee.
If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s anaesthetic or operation, please contact the veterinary surgeon in charge of your case or one of our veterinary nurses.