You would be surprised to discover that not every hospital places the same priority on sterility and safety. At Oceanside Animal Hospital you can be assured that your pet will receive excellent care based on the most current recommendations. Dr. Blake has been practicing medicine and surgery at busy veterinary hospitals for the last ten years. She has had the pleasure of working with multiple board certified surgeons and has gained valuable experience and knowledge from these professional relationships.
When your pet is admitted for a surgical procedure they are brought to the hospital at opening first thing in the morning. After they have arrived, an examination will be performed to identify any physical problems your pet may have and assure no outward conditions exist which would cause concern for anesthesia. Pre-operative bloodwork will be performed to identify any metabolic concerns if it has not been drawn prior to the day of surgery. Next, we will administer pre-anesthetic medications, which will make your pet drowsy and help to prevent pain. Then the veterinary technician will shave and clean a small area on the patient’s front leg, and an intravenous catheter will be placed into a vein. Since blood pressure drops under anesthesia, we can support blood pressure and maintain hydration by giving intravenous fluids through this catheter. The IV catheter also allows for quick delivery of emergency drugs if needed.
After the IV catheter placement, your pet will be given an injectable anesthetic. Once your pet is asleep, an endotracheal (breathing) tube will be placed to administer an anesthetic / oxygen mix and to protect the airway. The same anesthetic gases that are used in human hospitals are used here as well.
Every pet is placed on a heating pad to help maintain core body temperature. Surgical anesthesia monitors which allow us to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and core body temperature are connected to the patient and allow for optimized safety during anesthesia. One of our nurses will supervise your pet during the entire time anesthesia is being used and will be responsible for continuous monitoring of vital signs. These monitoring parameters help us to adjust anesthesia as needed and detect any physiological changes before serious problems occur.
Once your pet is safely under anesthesia, we will begin surgical preparation. The fur will be shaved (or feathers removed as the case may be) from the surgical area. This area will be gently scrubbed and washed to remove as much bacteria as possible and surgical prep applied.
While the technician prepares your pet for surgery, the veterinarian also prepares for the surgical procedure. The doctor scrubs the arms from fingernails to elbows before surgery and applies an antibacterial gel to complete the disinfection process.. As in human medicine, the veterinarian prepares by dressing in a sterile gown, facemask, and surgical cap. After dressing and washing, the veterinarian will put on sterile gloves and proceed to the surgical suite. While some hospitals use surgical rooms as multi-purpose treatment areas, our surgical suite is a single purpose area of the hospital. This area is used ONLY for surgical procedures, allowing us to minimize any contamination and maximize your pet’s safety.
Once your pet is fully prepared and draped for surgery, the veterinarian will perform the surgical procedure. During this time a dedicated nurse monitors your pet’s vital signs closely. Once the veterinarian has completed the procedure the anesthesia is turned off and your pet is given oxygen gas via the end tracheal tube to aid in recovery. One of our trained nurses will monitor your pet closely during recovery. Once the patient is able to swallow, the endotracheal tube is removed and the patient is moved to their recovery suite. We have designed our treatment and recovery area in such a way that allows for continuous visualization of hospitalized patients. This allows for best continual patient monitoring and safety.
Additional pain medication is given at the time of recovery and an oral version will be sent home with your pet to be administered starting the day after surgery.
Once the surgery is completed, the veterinary technician or doctor will give you a call with an update and will give you a specific time for your pet’s discharge from the hospital. At the time of discharge, the veterinary assistant will discuss discharge instructions and answer any questions you may have.