Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's surgery, and we hope this information will help.
Is the anesthetic safe?
Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. Here at Pets ER, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that a fever or other illness won't be a problem. We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet.
Pre-anesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Every pet should have blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications. Animals that have minor dysfunction will handle the anesthetic better if they receive IV fluids during surgery.
We offer a few levels of in-house blood testing before surgery, which we will go over with you. Our doctors prefer the more comprehensive screen, because it gives them the most information to ensure the safety of your pet. Additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well.
Will my pet have stitches?
For many surgeries, we use staples or sutures, in some cases absorbable sutures underneath the skin. The absorbable will dissolve on their own, and do not need to be removed later. Some surgeries, do require skin sutures or staples. With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for a time and no baths are allowed until they are removed.
Will my pet be in pain?
Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals. Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don't whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it. Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed. Major procedures require more pain relief than minor procedures.