Surgery Morning at the Clinic

When it comes to surgeries, most owners schedule the procedure, get told the time to drop off their pet, review fasting instructions, and that’s that. Most owners do not know the process leading up to the surgery itself. As a technician, I play a role in preparing for the surgery.

The first thing in preparing for surgery is a pre-anesthetic exam the morning of. Even if a pet has come in recently, it is important for their heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature to be assessed right before anesthetic. This is important so that we know if/how the anesthetic affects them. After the pre-anesthetic exam is done, a pre-med is given. A pre-med is a combination of drugs that helps sedate the animal enough for the IV catheter to be placed, and also aids in a smooth recovery after anesthetic. The pre-med usually takes 10-15 minutes to take effect. Once the animal is ready, an IV catheter is placed and they are hooked up to IV fluids. An induction agent is then administered intravenously so that an endotracheal tube can be placed. Once the pet is safely hooked up to the oxygen and anesthetic, surgery prep can begin.

After surgery is completed, your fur baby is closely monitored to ensure a safe recovery. Once they are awake enough, the ET tube will be removed and they will remain on IV fluids until discharge. If post-op pain meds are required they will also be administered at that time.  The Mill Creek Animal Hospital team monitor for the remainder of the day until discharge, to ensure they fully recover before being sent home.

Once the time for discharge comes, a technician will go over special post-anesthetic instructions.  Although they may seem groggy at home the night of anesthetic, most pets usually bounce back to their normal selves the next morning!  If you ever run into any issues after your pet has been discharge we ask that you please contact our Edmonton veterinary clinic immediately!

by Liz, RAHT