I’m concerned about my pet going under anesthesia. Should I be worried?
Any time a pet has invasive surgery, there is risk involved. At Highland Pet Hospital, we do everything that we can to minimize that risk. We will require pre-anesthetic bloodwork to ensure your pet can tolerate the anesthesia. Our team will place an intravenous catheter prior to surgery to ensure we have quick access to a vein in case anything goes wrong. Our experienced veterinary technicians will monitor your pet’s vital signs every moment they are undergoing their procedure- all the way until they are awake.
For most pets, the biggest risk is not while they are under anesthesia, but when they are waking up from the procedure. Nausea and vomiting can sometimes occur- which is where veterinarians witness the majority of complications following surgeries. We recommend
the use of an anti-nausea medication which further minimizes the risks of anesthesia.
What is the difference between
sedation and anesthesia?
All pets having any type of invasive surgery will need to be put under general anesthesia. In order to put your pet under anesthesia, your pet will first be sedated in order for our team to properly prepare your pet for the anesthesia and surgery. Our veterinarian will review your pet’s history and bloodwork to determine the best sedation method and medications along with the anesthesia.
How much pain will my pet endure following surgery?
One of our many goals when we perform surgery is to keep your pet pain free. We use preoperative pain management and local anesthetic blocks to avoid ‘wind-up pain’. During surgery, we can give your pet additional pain medications if the doctor deems it necessary.
We will most likely send you home with medications as well as instructions on how to administer them when we meet with you to discharge your pet from the hospital.
What about the risk of infection?
Each day, our team uses a special piece of equipment to sterilize all of our instruments. This equipment is called an autoclave. It uses high-heat and steam to kill any germs or bacteria which cannot be killed during the normal washing of the instruments following surgery. Even our surgeons gowns go through the autoclave process.
You may not believe it, but not all facilities do this. Some ‘low-cost’ facilities will re-use instruments on multiple pets after putting them in a sanitizing solution. Sanitizing is not the same as sterilizing. Would you allow your doctor to perform surgery on a family member if the instruments were not sterilized? Neither would we, and we know your pet is part of your family.
We have a few options for antibiotics. The best option is to use a long-lasting injectable antibiotic which eliminates the need for giving pills or tablets every couple of hours. Lots of pets, (especially cats) hate taking pills, even if we hide it in their favorite food or treats.
Please know that at Highland Pet Hospital, we will do everything possible to minimize any risks associated with your pet’s surgery so they’re back to running around and giving kisses as quickly as possible.