We do many dental cleanings and surgical procedures that require anesthesia. This article is written to help you (as the pet owner) have a better understanding about the whole process. We want you to feel comfortable with our procedures. The following simply goes through our steps so that you know what to expect.
1) Hold your pet off of food as of 9 PM the night before; water is fine.
2) Come in between 7:30 and 8:00 AM on the day of the scheduled procedure.
3) When you come in, a technician will go over a checklist with you. It is an important step because we are making sure of what you want done. In some instances we are doing a dental, removing a growth, and placing a microchip. We simply want to make sure we are “on the same page” and have the same expectations.
4) During the checklist procedure we will also go over an estimate of the cost for the procedure. Payment for the procedure is required at pickup.
5) We will also get some phone numbers with which we can reach you. These are important in case we need to contact you, usually just to ask a question or give an update.
6) During the checklist procedure we will also go over a series of questions;
- Do you want us to perform pre-anesthetic bloodwork? Or have you already had it done recently? Pets over 7 are required to have bloodwork as a safety precaution prior to anesthesia. In pets under 7 we recommend bloodwork, but don’t require it.
- Has your cat previously been tested for Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus? If not, we recommend doing that as well.
- Has your pet ever had seizures? If so, we need to know in order to appropriately modify the anesthetics used.
- Is your pet on any medications? Again, if so, we need to know so that we can modify the anesthetics used.
- Do you want a microchip placed? This can actually be done at any time, but is most convenient while a pet is anesthetized.
6) The final thing on our check-in procedure is your signature giving your consent for us to perform the procedure, acknowledging that you understand risk factors with the procedure and the potential for complications.
After the initial check in procedure we will set up a comfy spot for your pet. If we are performing pre-anesthetic bloodwork, that is done first. Then we will give a sedative to help them relax and smooth the transition into general anesthesia. Once we are ready, we will administer a short acting injectable anesthesia, and once their level of anesthesia is appropriate, we will intubate your pet and maintain them on inhalant anesthesia. During the procedure they will have anesthetic monitors on them as well as be monitored by a technician. Typically, the doctor will call you around lunch time to give you an update.
After the procedure is done a technician continues to monitor them until they are extubated and stable. The pet then stays with us until we feel they are stable and alert enough to go home.
The typical procedure when you come to pick up your pet is that you’ll come in and let the receptionist know you are ready to pick up your pet; they will assist you in settling your bill and then a technician will talk you through some go-home instructions.
Pets are often groggy after they go home. They may also feel disoriented and need reassurance. In some cases they are painful; we will send pain medication home with you and that can be administered as needed.
Please don’t hesitate to ask us questions. We want to communicate and educate as much as possible.