Scheduled surgical and dental procedures are performed Monday through Friday and for certain procedures we can arrange for a board certified specialist to come to South Arundel. Your pet's doctor will explain the procedure, the risks involved and what type of care will be needed at home during recuperation. Pain management is individualized based on the patient and the operation in order to keep your pet comfortable. A pre-operative exam and laboratory tests will be conducted prior to anesthesia for your pet's safety.
Our surgeons are trained to perform a wide variety of operations ranging from spaying and neutering to involved orthopedic procedures. Our trained veterinary assistants provide state of the art anesthesia monitoring, combined with a Surgivet monitor that checks on the patient's heart rate, EKG, respiratory rate, oxygen levels, carbon dioxide levels and blood pressure. An IV catheter and intravenous fluids help maintain blood flow and blood pressure during surgery and dental procedures. A Bair Hugger is used to help the patient maintain their normal body tempurature. Injectable and oral medications are used for pre- and post-operative pain management.
When your pet is ready to go home, a discharge appointment will be scheduled. During this appointment a veterinary assistant or a doctor will review any medications going home with your pet, as well as home care and follow-up instructions.
At South Arundel, our primary concern is for the well-being of your pet. Our fees are based on the level of care we provide. If you should decide to inquire about having a surgical/dental/anesthetic procedure performed at another clinic for financial reasons, be sure to ask the following questions about their policies and procedures so that you can make an accurate, informed comparison! Print out our Anesthetic Procedure Comparison Checklist and Surgery Comparison Questions for handy reference.
1. Why does my pet need pre-anesthetic testing?
All pets undergoing anethesia need appropriate evaluation before surgery to assure that the liver and kidneys can metabolize the anesthetic and that no problems exist which are not readily apparent upon physical examination. Even apparently healthy animals can have organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. It is important to identify these problems so that the amount and type of anesthetic can be altered accordingly or anesthesia can be avoided until a severe problem is corrected. Pets over six years of age also have an EKG performed to check for abnormal heart rhythms. A urinalysis is also run on our senior patients to check for diabetes, early kidney disease or infection.
2. Who is monitoring anesthesia while a dental cleaning is being performed?
At least TWO people should be present while your pet is under anesthesia - one to perform the procedure and the other to monitor your pet's progress under anesthesia. At South Arundel a doctor and a veterinary technician are present at all times during every anesthetic procedure. During a dental cleaning, the doctor is monitoring anesthesia while the technician performs the cleaning. If any oral surgery (or other type of surgery) is being performed, the technician monitors your pet while the doctor performs surgery.
3. Do you have a digital/high speed dental x-ray unit?
A digital dental x-ray unit means less time under anesthesia for your pet and a quicker and more accurate diagnosis. Dental x-rays are essential to identify sub-clinical tooth root abscesses and/or to determine the future viability of a tooth (whether or not the jaw bone is adequately attached to the tooth) before making the decision to extract the tooth. X-rays of the skull are useful to identify sinus abnormalities, but are not adequate to evaluate a single tooth.
4. What type of monitoring do you do under anesthesia?
Continuous blood pressure monitoring is ESSENTIAL and the MOST IMPORTANT type of equipment-related monitoring, especially in smaller pets that tend to experience a drop in blood pressure under anesthesia. Other monitoring should include EKG, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels and body temperature. Of course there is no substitute for a well-trained person using their senses and stethoscope.
5. What type of support does my pet receive under anesthesia?
An intravenous (IV) catheter is placed in all patients undergoing an anesthetic procedure (with the exception of feline castration). Intravenous fluids are administered to help maintain blood pressure and the volume given can be adjusted as needed. An IV catheter is also ESSENTIAL should the need arise to give supportive medications or any emergency drugs. Emergency drugs are rarely needed, but certainly no one wants their pet to be the one who did need them and did not have an IV catheter for administration! Thermal support, via a heating pad, heated surgical table or a forced heated air "blanket" is also essential in smaller pets.
6. What type of post-op monitoring is done?
The most dangerous periods of an anesthetic procedure are the very beginning (induction) and during the recovery. A trained veterinary assistant should be observing your pet and taking his or her vitals until fully awake.
7. What about pain management?
The best effect can be achieved when appropriate drugs are given before and after a painful procedure.