Elective surgeries may include spaying or neutering, and declawing, or certain dental procedures. Reparative surgeries are performed to correct a deficiency, trauma or illness which is affecting the health or functioning of your pet. Whether your pet’s surgery is elective or necessary for the health and comfort of your pet, you can have confidence that your companion will be cared for by us with no less concern than you would be given.
After-care instructions are provided for all surgeries once your pet is ready to return home. We will answer all your questions and show you how to care for your pet during their recuperation.
Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring During Surgery
At some time in your pets life, he or she may need to go under anesthesia for surgery or to have his or her teeth cleaned. At our hospital, each patient has one or more technicians dedicated full time to your pet’s anesthetic monitoring under the care of your veterinarian.
We take anesthesia and surgery very seriously. Our monitoring first starts with blood collected for testing before the procedure to make sure your pet’s organs are functioning normally, and to catch any underlying abnormalities to alert us if we need to take any precautions. Each patient that undergoes an anesthetic is given then a specific drug protocol tailored specifically to your pet based on their pre-surgical bloodwork, age, breed, species and the procedure in which they are undergoing.
Each patient undergoing anesthesia at EAH are placed on intravenous fluids. Intravenous fluids help us maintain blood pressure on your pet while under anesthetic and provide us access to their bloodstream if needed to give medications or in an emergency.
Anesthetic maintenance and monitoring are crucial for a successful surgical procedure. We monitor anesthetic with a number of monitors which give us different information. Please read below on the different monitoring systems EAH uses.
We have two Doppler machines at EAH that monitor blood pressure. Blood pressure is important to monitor for a patient under anesthetic. Blood pressure is the driving force for blood flow through capillaries that supply oxygen to body organs. Low pressure results in decreased oxygen delivery, resulting in cell and organ damage. There are many body factors that can affect our blood pressure. The Doppler is a non-invasive machine that quickly determines blood pressure by a cuff that is placed on your pet’s paw.
It is also important to monitor heart rate and oxygen saturation on our anesthetized animals. Our pulse oximeter uses a non-invasive probe that is placed on the tongue, ear or paw to measure the amount of oxygen that is dissolved in the blood stream and carried by red blood cells. This ensures that a patient is receiving adequate amounts of oxygen and alerts us if there is a problem.
ECG / EKG / Electrocardiogram
An electrocardiogram is a machine that has tiny pads hooked up to your pet’s chest to monitor heart deficiencies. This machine detects and amplifies tiny electrical charges on the skin that are caused when the heart muscles “depolarizes” during each heart beat. By monitoring any changes in the electrocardiogram, we can detect early a concern for heart disease or risk while under anesthesia.
Temperature, Pulse and Respiration
Temperature, pulse and respiration are monitored continuously during any procedure. We prefer to do this manually and by a number of other monitors in combination as a safe guard for successful anesthesia.
Changes in these parameters can give us a number of cues on how the anesthesia is going and if changes need to be made in the depth of anesthesia, pain control and whether we need to use further external sources to increase body temperature.