Surgery

Thank you for visiting Brogli, Lane, Weaver & Alexander Animal Hospital’s website as you make choices about the care of you pet. As a complete veterinary surgical center, the safety and comfort of your pet is our most important consideration. We know that our clients share these concerns but also know that they are understandably aware of fees. For this reason, we think it’s important that you understand the difference between a “low-cost” surgery at one facility versus a higher cost procedure somewhere else. Simply stated, a facility can cut corners to save cost or follow higher standards to ensure safety and comfort, but it is difficult to do both. With this in mind, we do our very best to follow the highest standards for surgical procedures and anesthesia while offering the best value to our clients. When choosing a veterinary surgeon we encourage you to have all of the following questions answered so you may make an informed decision about the best care for your pet. As you review these questions, be aware that standards of care may vary greatly between surgery facilities.

Is an intravenous catheter placed in every animal and are intravenous fluids administered during anesthesia?

One of the greatest risks of anesthesia is low blood pressure caused by many of the drugs used. Intravenous fluids help ensure that blood pressure is maintained at a safer level. Also, in the unlikely event of an emergency, an intravenous catheter is critical so that fluids and emergency drugs can be administered immediately. To ensure the safety of our patients, every animal at our clinic will receive an intravenous catheter.

What pain medications and anesthetic drugs are used?

Surgery hurts! This is true for both humans and pets. The types of pain medications and anesthetic used can greatly influence the comfort and safety of your pet. Modern anesthetic protocols should strive to block pain before it occurs while trying to block as many pain pathways as possible. Anesthetic medications should be chosen based on the safety of the drug. The choice of medication used can have a great effect on the safety and comfort of your pet. For this reason we strive to use the best possible medication and not the cheapest.

Is my pet ever left alone during anesthesia and how is my pet monitored?

It is critical to monitor the patients vitals while under anesthesia to ensure that the respiratory rate and cardiovascular systems are functioning well, and also to ensure that the patient is not under too lightly or too deeply. Most importantly, the surgical technician monitors the heart rate, respiratory rate and anesthetic depth. At our clinic a dedicated surgery technician is constantly monitoring your pet from the time of induction until your pet is able to sit up. AT NO TIME IS YOUR PET LEFT ALONE WHILE UNDER ANESTHESIA. We also use the following monitoring techniques to ensure safety: 1) An electrocardiogram (EKG) to monitor the heart 2) A pulse oximeter to monitor the percent of oxygen in the blood 3) Blood pressure monitors 4) Continuous monitoring of body temperature 5) Respiratory rate monitoring. Dedicated technicians and state-of-the-art monitoring equipment increase cost but are critical to the safety of your pet.

Is my pet’s temperature maintained during and after anesthesia?

All animals, especially cats and small dogs, lose a lot of body heat under anesthesia. The resulting hypothermia can slow recovery after surgery. For this reason, we use a heated surgery table in addition to continuous monitoring of the patient’s body temperature.

Is my pet intubated and is gas anesthesia used?

Intubation means that the patient has an endotracheal tube placed into the mouth and through the airway which gas anesthetic is administered. This tube allows controlled respirations if the patient is not breathing well on his or her own. It also prevents accidental inhalation of stomach contents if your pet vomits under anesthesia. This provides oxygen through out the procedure and allows us to control the depth of anesthesia which makes the procedure safer.

Can pre-anesthetic blood work be performed for my pet?

All patients, not just the old or sick, should have basic pre-anesthetic blood tests performed to detect any abnormalities that could affect anesthesia. At our clinic, we run these tests in house on the day of surgery to provide for the safety of your pet.

Keep in mind that even in surgeries we consider “routine” complications are always a possibility. It is our goal to minimize this possibility by adhering to the most current, not cheapest, standards of care. Also, we want you to understand that procedures like spays are often considered “routine.” However, these types of procedures are not minor. In fact, spaying your pet is more invasive than human surgeries like a hysterectomy or a c-section. With this in mind, the safety and pain management of your pet’s surgery should not be taken lightly.