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Surgery, Anesthesia and Surgical Procedures
If your pet were to need surgery, be assured that it would be performed under the most sterile conditions and in the safest possible fashion. A pre-anesthetic blood screen would first be performed in order to detect any hidden problems that could threaten your pet's well-being while under anesthesia. An electrocardiogram to evaluate heart function is oftten recommended. In most cases, your pet would have an intravenous catheter placed in the cephalic vein and would be given intravenous fluids prior to surgery. An intravenous fluid infusions pump could be used to monitor and control the rate of the fluid drip administration.
General anesthesia would be administered either as an intravenous injection or as an inhaled gas. If inhalation anesthesia is the choice, then either Isoflurane or Sevoflurane gas would be used. These gases are almost identical to those inhalation anesthetics used to anesthetize humans. Gas anesthetics are delivered in a precise concentration by an anesthetic vaporizer. Both gas anesthetic and oxygen are delivered to the patient through an endotracheal tube which is placed down the pet's airway. An electro-cardiogram, pulse oximeter, and respiratory monitor are the various methods used to monitor the anesthetized pet and help ensure his or her safety.
A trained technician is always present to assist the doctor during surgery. The technician monitors the animal's rate and depth of respiration, heart rate, temperature and the color of the pet's gums and mucus membranes.
The surgical site is shaved and cleaned with special antiseptic soap. The surgical site is then covered with a sterile surgical "drape" and the surgeon begins the surgery after he has scrubbed and gloved his hands and draped his body in a surgical cap, mask and gown. When the surgery is completed, the anesthesia is turned off and the patient is maintained on pure oxygen until he or she shows signs of becoming more conscious.
The patient is then moved to a recovery cage and the endotracheal is removed from the windpipe as soon as he or she begins to cough. The patient is covered with a blanket and kept warm until he or she is up and standing.
Surgery may be performed with a scapel blade, electro-surgical unit, or with a cryosurgery device that destroys tissue using liquid nitrogen. The wound may be closed with standard sutures, metal staples, or surgical adhesive. A "penrose drain tube" may be sutured into the surgical wound to allow the wound to drain so that serum does not accumulate. The closed surgical incision may or may not be bandaged depending on circumstances.
A protective restraint collar may be placed around the patients head and neck to prevent the animal licking or chewing at of the surgical site. Sutures are usually removed withing ten days to two weeks post-surgery.
New information indicates that spaying and neutering dogs or cats as early as 3 months of age is safe, has health benefits, and is less expensive than waiting until the animal is older and larger. Not only does spaying stop messy heats, pesky male dogs and unwanted litters, it also prevents certain medical problems such as uterine infections, mammary tumors, and hormonal dermatitis. It does not cause a personality change and the slight tendency toward weight gain can easily be controlled by diet. It involves the surgical removal of both ovaries and the entire uterus.
To learn more about spaying, read Dr. Simon's articles: The Benefits of Spaying a Cat or Dog: The Ovariohysterectomy and The Seriousness of Spaying and Castration.
This surgery may be performed for either medical, behavioral, or birth control reasons. Behavioral reasons include unwanted aggressiveness, spraying by tom cats, prevention of dog's running away, masturbating on the legs of friends and family. Medical reasons include: perianal tumors, perineal hernias, and prostatitis.
To learn more about neutering, read Dr. Simon's articles: The Benefits of Neutering Dogs and Cats and The Seriousness of Spaying and Castration.
The ideal time to perform this surgery is at 8-12 weeks of age. However, it may be done at an older age. It does not change the cat's personality and can save expensive wear and tear on furniture, drapery and skin.
The continuing recovery of your pet is now in your hands. Following the directions given below with contribute to that recover and reduce convalescent time. Failure to follow these directions could retard your pet's progress, endanger our patient, and cause you additional medical expense.
The above recommendations are given to you because we have found that they will make your pet's recovery easy, quick, and uneventful. We strongly urge you to follow them. If you find a problem following this advice please call for help.