Most every household pet undergoes a surgical procedure at some stage, whether it is due to injury or just a spay or neuter procedure. For those who have adopted their very first pet, the concept of this surgery can be daunting. The idea of your little furry family member being put under anesthesia can be worrisome, but rest assured that the practice is routine, and your vet will monitor his or her vital signs closely. Understanding more about this process will help to put your mind at ease. Here's what you need to know before your pet goes in for surgery.
Before Your Pet's Surgery
Right before the surgery, your vet will conduct a comprehensive physical examination to make sure that your pet is healthy enough for the anesthesia. This involves checking his or her circulation, heart health, and weight, as well as respiratory health and overall wellness. You will have to provide a thorough medical history if this is a new vet, or any records that you received from where you adopted the pet.
Since anesthesia can affect blood flow and liver function, your vet may do some blood work before the procedure to be sure that your pet's liver is functioning properly. In addition, x-rays and ultrasounds may be done to check for any abnormalities that could potentially be problematic during surgery and anesthesia.
Before the anesthesia is administered, your vet will typically start by giving your pet a sedative. This helps to keep them calm and relaxed while the anesthesia is administered. In addition, it allows the vet to hook up veterinary monitoring equipment, much like what is used when a person undergoes surgery. This monitoring equipment will allow the anesthesiologist and your vet to monitor the animal's respiration, heart rate, blood pressure, and more.
After the sedative is given and your pet is connected to the monitoring equipment, the anesthesia will be administered. It is administered through the application of a catheter that's inserted directly into the vein, just as it is with people. This initial anesthesia is a fast-acting product. Once your pet is unconscious, the vet will place a tube directly into your pet's lungs. This tube will supply an anesthesia that is inhaled, allowing the dosing to be better controlled. In addition, this tube permits rapid response if your pet starts having trouble breathing.
Just as your pet's vital signs are monitored during surgery, they will also be monitored closely after surgery. The anesthesia is slowly reduced in dose so that your pet gradually wakes up. Until he or she fully regains consciousness and is able to move around safely, the vet will continue to monitor his or her vitals. When your pet's swallowing reflex is restored, the tube will be removed. It remains in place until then to prevent your pet from aspirating anything from their stomach during the procedure and recovery.
Your pet will likely be groggy for a few hours after the surgery. If you're picking him or her up the same day, be prepared for a bit of lethargy and inattentiveness. Just keep in mind that you'll need to watch for any signs of respiratory issues or other problems, because these things can be signs of post-surgical complications.
If you have any questions or concerns about your pet's safety during a spay or neuter surgery, you should talk with your vet. He or she can explain all of the basics of the preparation and the procedure. You may even be able to get a thorough explanation of the veterinary monitoring equipment used to maintain your pet's vital signs throughout the surgery and recovery process. To learn more about veterinary monitoring equipment, contact a company like Lu Tech Veterinary Industries, Inc.