We know that having your pet in for surgery can be a traumatic and stressful time for you both. It is our goal to do everything within our power to make it as smooth of a process as possible for both patient and owner. Our knowledgeable surgery staff can answer questions about your pet’s procedure and can explain exactly what we will be doing on their surgery day in great detail.
Once dropped off for surgery, pets are kept in warm, dry kennels lined with soft, thick blankets for their comfort. Before we introduce anything scary we give all surgery patients a medication to calm them down, and make them a little happy and sleepy. This is similar to your doctor giving you something for nerves before a surgery. This medication is a combination of a mild sedative and a strong pain medication so that your pet will have pain control in their system before we introduce anything remotely painful – even before we place the intravenous catheter!
Once the medication takes effect, we place their intravenous catheter if applicable, and proceed with anesthetizing the patient and performing the surgery. While your pet is under anesthesia, they are resting on our surgery table on top of a warm circulating water mattress to keep them warm and comfortable. All surgery patients are cared for by our skilled surgery techs while under anesthesia. Your pet will always have someone right next to them while they are under anesthesia, making sure they are stable and doing well. Once their surgery is complete, they are transferred back to their comfortable kennel and covered with our warm air blanket to keep them nice and toasty warm during the remainder of their recovery. Once they are holding their head up on their own, and beginning to walk a bit – our staff will make sure they get to go outside to relieve themselves as soon as possible to avoid accidents.
Pets continue to rest in their kennels until their owners pick them up that evening. Most pets sleep during this time due to the anesthesia and pain medications they received. It is a quiet time for rest and the beginning of their path to being healed. We prefer pets to remain at the clinic for the majority of the day after anesthesia so they may have this time to rest and regain their strength and coordination. We will never send home a dog or cat that cannot walk or hold their head up for their safety. If a patient is bright and moving around well soon after surgery then we will give their owner the option of picking them up early. When you come to pick up your pet, our staff will take the time to go over all home care instructions with you step by step, and will ensure you feel completely comfortable caring for your pet after surgery.
Surgical Procedures Available
Soft Tissue Surgery:
Blade vs Laser vs Cautery
Traditionally veterinary surgery was performed with a scalpel blade, however, modern advancements and research have given us better tools with which to perform our surgeries. Laser surgery is now a very popular choice for pet owners to inquire about and support. A lesser-known option is also available which is the cautery, or electrosurgical unit. Both the cautery and laser have benefits over traditional scalpel blade surgery, however, the differences between laser surgery and electrosurgery are very slight. Both units cut tissue, cauterizing blood vessels and nerve endings with less inflammation, pain and bleeding than a traditional blade surgery. Aquadale Veterinary Clinic utilizes an electrosurgical cautery unit for all of our surgeries. This allows our doctors to quickly incise soft tissue with very little bleeding and post-operative pain and inflammation, which leads to a more comfortable recovery after surgery.