The goal of the staff at Suburban Animal Clinic is to reduce anesthetic risk as much as possible. Below are the ways in which we work to do this. We pride ourselves in providing human-grade anesthesia and monitoring for your pets. While we cannot make a patient’s anesthetic risk zero, we can lower it with pre-anesthetic screening and anesthetic monitoring.
We recommend various tests before anesthetizing your pet for surgery. These tests are recommended to determine the health status of your pet. Should we determine that your pet has an underlying disease condition, we can increase the safety of your pet’s anesthesia by choosing proper medications, anesthetics and fluid therapy.
It’s important to note that almost all young, healthy pets have normal blood work and are of low anesthetic risk; however, the rare abnormality is noted on pre-anesthetic blood work and we do occasionally need to administer medications to stabilize blood pressure or other cardiac abnormalities. This is why the following recommendations are important-to avoid the scenario of looking back and wishing extra precautions had been taken.
Tests that may be recommended for your pet depend on the age and condition of your pet.
o CBC (Complete Blood Count): Red Blood Cell Count, White Blood Cell Count, Platelet Count, looks for infection and anemia
o Blood Chemistry (Profile): Liver Function, Kidney Function, Pancreatic Function, Electrolytes (indicator of Cardiac Function)
o Thyroid Level
o ECG/CardioPet: Evaluate Rhythm and Electrical status of the heart
o Radiographs: Evaluate Heart, Lungs, other internal organs
o Urinalysis: Indicator of bladder and kidney health
Patients are monitored during anesthesia and during recovery by experienced Registered Veterinary Technicians, much like people are monitored by Registered Nurses. The slightest changes can be addressed as rapidly as possible.
Patient monitoring includes:
o Blood pressure
o Electrocardiograph (EKG) (heart rate, rhythm)
o Respiratory monitors
o Pulse Oximetry (percent of oxygen saturation in the blood)
o Body Temperature
It is strongly recommended that all patients undergoing anesthesia receive an Intravenous (IV) Catheter. This allows for ease of giving anesthesia and other medications, particularly emergency medications if needed when time is crucial.
It is strongly recommended that patients undergoing anesthesia receive IV Fluids. Fluids help in three ways:
o Raise Blood Pressure - blood pressure often drops with anesthesia. Fluid circulating in the body helps keep blood pressure stable.
o Replace Blood Loss - extra fluid coming into the body via a vein helps replace blood lost, even a little bit of blood lost, during the procedure.
o Hydration & Electrolyte Balance - Patients have often not eaten or had anything to drink for 12 hours prior to anesthesia. Fluids help with any chance of dehydration as well as replace electrolytes. Some patients with chronic conditions, such as kidney disease, will be on IV Fluids before and after the procedure.
Registered Veterinary Technicians will monitor patients after surgery until they are awake and moving. Pain Medication is given to all surgical patients, and most, including spays and neuters, will have pain medications to go home (sedatives also if necessary). Upon discharge, a veterinarian or registered veterinary technician will go over discharge instructions and medications.
Suburban Animal Clinic is located in