Just as for humans, from time to time, an illness in your pet will require surgery. Almost always, this is an emotional experience for pet owners. Some hesitate and seek second opinions. We understand and welcome this, and have frequently given second opinions ourselves.
You are an integral part of your pet’s healthcare team. At Wellington Veterinarian Hospital, we ensure you understand your pet’s condition, the surgical procedure, prognosis and subsequent treatment plan. Being on the same plane will allow us to jointly make good decisions. We only recommend surgery as a last resort.
Here is what you can expect when we recommend surgery for your pet.
Your pet will undergo a pre-surgery checkup several days or weeks prior, depending on the surgical procedure being performed. At this appointment, we will examine your pet thoroughly to get a complete picture of his/ her health. This includes collecting blood samples to assess organ function and to allow us to prepare the proper anesthetic and surgical protocols. This checkup is also important to ensure we do not miss any hidden conditions that could create complications during surgery.
Prepping Your Pet For Surgery
Surgery is a sterile procedure. Consequently, taking ownership of cleaning and grooming your pet prior to surgery will go a long way. Unclean pets will spend an unnecessary amount of time under anesthetic, simply getting scrubbed and cleaned.
Secondly, just like humans, pets must have an empty stomach when they present for surgery. Anesthetic prevents their ability to swallow, and involuntary contractions of the stomach can introduce serious complications during surgery if vomit ends up in their lungs. The day before surgery, we will contact you to remind you about these important details.
When you arrive for the surgical appointment, we will review the consent form with you. You may ask us questions at any point leading up to your pet’s surgery. It is very important that you feel completely confident about leaving him/ her with us. Pets are beloved family members and we understand this. When under our care, they become part of our family for the day. We will ensure your pet is safe and comfortable before, during and after the procedure.
Prior to commencing, we will examine your pet one more time. We need to ensure nothing has changed that could affect the procedure. The surgery will start with us inserting an intravenous catheter to administer fluids. This will keep your pet’s blood pressure and hydration at their most optimum levels. In very rare cases, complications can occur during surgery. The IV line allows us to administer emergency drugs immediately.
Once the anesthesia has begun, we will attach your pet to a machine that monitors heart rate, oxygen levels, and blood pressure. A dedicated team member will closely listen to the lungs and heart and assess anesthetic depth at regular intervals. This allows the veterinarian to focus on the surgery. These procedures ensure your pet remains safe, comfortable and pain-free during surgery.
When the procedure is over, we move your pet into a comfortable recovery area until the anesthetic wears off. Throughout their stay with us, you can rest assured that one of us will watch over your pet at all times, giving them the same back rubs and cuddles you would at home. We will provide you with regular updates, so you know when to pick him/ her up.
Before discharge, we will review post-operative care instructions so you can confidently manage your pet’s recovery at home. We may prescribe pain medication and possibly antibiotics to keep them comfortable. And if you need us, we will only be a phone call away. Our 24-hour emergency line allows you to contact us at any time.
About Wellington Veterinary Hospital
Wellington Veterinary Hospital is operated by Dr. Cliff Redford, a veterinarian with over two decades of experience. Our caring and passionate team of professionals provides a full range of services for your canine and feline companions. We are always delighted to meet new pets, answer your questions and offer preventative health care tips during free assessments with our veterinary technicians. Our location in Markham, Ontario offers plenty of free parking, convenient operating hours and a 24-hour emergency call line.