Advice for patients having anaesthesia and surgery
ADVICE FOR PATIENTS HAVING ANAESTHETIC/SURGICAL PROCEDURES
- Withhold all food from 8pm the previous evening. Water may be left overnight, especially for older patients or those with kidney problems, but remove in the morning.
- Rabbits and other small rodents should not be starved before an anaesthetic
- Admissions are between 8:30 am - 9:00 am on the day of your pet’s operation
- Take dogs out before arrival to allow time for toileting. Ensure dogs are clean and dry
- Dogs are best brought in on a secure collar and lead and cats in a basket
- Please mention any signs of ill health or other unusual signs
- Dogs will need transport to return home and cats are safest in a basket. For large dogs a blanket sling may be helpful if stairs or steps are to be negotiated
This is an ideal time to check such routine items as teeth, ears, nails, anal sacs etc. and give any attention that may be appropriate. This is normally done when time allows but sometimes it may be necessary to allow the patient to recover as quickly as possible. Please discuss this with the nurse or veterinary surgeon on admission.
Having your pet undergo a general anaesthetic can be a very worrying time. We have tried to minimise these concerns as much as possible by using the safest anaesthetic agents. We are one of the few practices in the UK that have upgraded our anaesthetic gas to Sevoflurane and this ensures your pet will recover quicker and with less ‘hangover’ than previously. One of our nurses will admit your pet and may advise a Pre-op blood test to check some basic metabolic functions depending on the animal’s age and previous history. You will then sign a consent form before you leave your pet with us. Your pet will then be taken to be weighed, bloods run if necessary, and then given a pre-medication to relax them and give them some pain relief before their procedure. Once they are relaxed hair is clipped off their front leg so we can inject Propofol intravenously which quickly induces unconsciousness. An endotracheal tube is then passed into their airway and they connected to the anaesthetic machine where the Sevoflurane keeps them asleep. Throughout the procedure we monitor blood oxygen levels, heart and respiration rate. When we are finished we give your pet oxygen until they are conscious, the tube in the airway is removed and they are monitored until fully awake. At this point a vet will call you to tell you that all is done and arrange a time for collection where you will be given home care instructions and any medication by the nurse or vet. We will usually make you an appointment 2 days later for a free of charge post-op check.
With the use of modern anaesthetics, specialised equipment and highly trained nurses, risks are considerably reduced but nevertheless, it should be realised, all anaesthetic techniques and surgical procedures involve some risk to the patient. Problems can occur more frequently in certain breeds and there can be occasional individual allergic reactions. Any disease, infection or toxicity will increase the risks and if suspected should always be mentioned. Obesity will increase the difficulty experienced if any problems arise. During an operation problems can arise due to hemorrhage and surgical shock and will vary with the type of operation and individual susceptibility Operations may however have to be carried out despite these problems.
All anaesthetics carry some risk to the patient. By using the routine outlined above we have tried to reduce that risk to the smallest possible.