Whether your pet is scheduled for a dental prophylaxis or major surgery, anesthesia will be required. Just as pre-anesthetic bloodwork and IV catheter placement with fluid therapy are the standards in human medicine when anesthesia is required, we also offer these services for your pet. When the proper precautions are taken, anesthesia is a very safe process, and this extra measure of safety is important to all of us. We offer the following information and recommendations to allow you to make the best decision regarding your pet.
Pre-anesthetic Blood Testing
Some drugs given before, during, and after anesthesia are processed from the body by the liver and kidneys, consequently their functions must be in the normal range in order for a pet to tolerate anesthesia well. Pre-anesthetic blood testing helps to detect abnormalities in these, and other organs, that would not be apparent on a physical exam. By evaluating your pet’s organ functions, in conjunction with a red blood cell count, we can be made aware of underlying conditions that may preclude anesthesia or require us to follow a different anesthesia protocol.
While this service is offered to all pets, it is required for animals 7 years of age or older, and for any pets with certain preexisting conditions. This allows us to anticipate and manage any problems that may lead to a prolonged recovery or other post-operative complications. In younger pets, we do not anticipate problems other than congenital abnormalities that may not yet have manifested themselves. This screening blood panel, however, is still of benefit by establishing baselines that can be monitored as your pet ages.
IV (Intravenous) Catheter/Fluid Therapy
IV fluid therapy is used to support your pet during the anesthesia process. While under the effects of anesthesia, animals are prone to hypothermia and drops in blood pressure. By giving your pet intravenous fluids, we can regulate its body temperature, as well as support the body systems, by maintaining adequate blood pressure. Fluid therapy also helps to reduce stress on the liver and kidneys which are responsible for processing anesthesia from the body, thereby allowing for a quicker recovery time. Fluids also support the body in the event of blood loss during surgery by replacing lost fluids, and, again, preventing decreases in blood pressure. In addition to the benefits of fluid administration, having an IV catheter in place allows immediate access to the blood stream should the unlikely need for emergency drugs arise.
Your pet will be more comfortable and experience less nausea from anesthesia if the stomach is empty of food. We ask that you feed your pet as usual the evening prior to admission, but withhold any food or treats from 10:00 PM forward. Any medications your pet would normally take the next morning, however, should still be given as scheduled. Do not withhold water and ensure that your pet has free access at all times. Allowing your pet to urinate and have a bowel movement prior to admission is also requested.
Dental and surgery patients are scheduled to arrive between 8:15-8:30 AM. Upon admission, you’ll be asked to authorize one or both of the beneficial options explained above. We’ll address any additional questions or concerns you may have about them, and provide you with estimated costs of the anticipated services involved. You may also be asked to approve additional recommended items such as dental x-rays or extractions, and pain control. We’ll ask which form of medication (liquid or tablets/capsules) is easier for you to give, if subsequent treatment is needed.
Dental, and many surgery patients, will be released the same afternoon after we are satisfied that they have appropriately recovered from their procedure. We ask that you allow time at dismissal for us to review your pet’s procedure with you and give you any home-care instructions. Your pet’s health is our utmost concern. Working together, we can provide you both with a positive experience and a successful outcome!