Veterinary General

53217 Hayes
Shelby Township, MI 48315

(586)992-3810

veterinarygeneral.com

Surgery at Veterinary General

As a pet owner, surgery can make you feel nervous, as pet owners ourselves we understand.  Our patients receive preoperative blood work, pain medication, and cold laser therapy treatments.  These services may be optional or additional else where, but our veterinarians feel they are the gold standard in care and are included in routine surgery treatment plans.   Just like a human hospital we monitor and record our patient's blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and pulse ox (percent of oxygen in the blood).  

Preparing For Surgery

Patient preparation is a short but critical step in ensuring anesthesia is safe for your pet.  The following steps are done:

  • Withholding food and water the night before lowers risk of regurgitation if the event of nausea
  • Treatment plans, cost, contact information, and any concerns will be addressed
  • Physical exam by the veterinarian
  • Preoperative blood work results are reviewed by the veterinarian  
  • All pets must be current on vaccines including rabies and distemper 
  • All dogs must be up to date on their heartworm tests, and cats must have a negative FeLV/FIV test on file

Anesthesia

 Once your pet is ready for anesthesia the following steps and safety measures are taken during surgery and recovery of your pet:

  • Pre-, intra-, and postoperative pain medication to ensure a smooth recovery
  • IV catheter placement allows for easier administration of IV fluids to maintain blood pressure, anesthetic agents, and emergency drugs if needed
  • Warm water circulating blankets prevent hypothermia
  • Airways are maintained by intubation tubes
  • Cold laser treatment promotes healing at the incision site 
  • Elizabethan collars are fitted to prevent post surgical complications from pet's licking or chewing their incision 
  • Licensed technicians will monitor your pet from induction of anesthesia until pet is awake
  • Before recovery additional procedures such as nail trimming, ear cleaning, microchip placement, and/or other procedures are performed 

After Surgery

After your pet recovers from anesthesia we will:

  • Call the primary contact to let them know their pet is recovered
  • Schedule a discharge appointment to discuss medications and recovery instructions
  • Two weeks later we request a post surgical follow-up

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is preoperative blood work so important?

Preoperative blood work ensures your pet's internal organs, that process anesthetic drugs, are working normally.  The type of blood work requested by our doctors will be based upon your pet's health and age.  Depending on results the anesthetic drugs used may be adjusted for your pet's safety or if necessary the procedure can be postponed until a problem is corrected.  The common question we hear is, "My pets are acting fine, do I really need blood work?"  Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. An example would be the kidneys; up to 70% of the kidneys can be nonfunctional before symptoms of kidney disease are exhibited.  For more information on blood work read "Understanding Your Pet's Blood Work."

Is anesthesia safe?

Any anesthetic procedure has an element of risk, it is fairly uncommon.  Studies have suggested that the risk of anesthetic death for a normal healthy patient is 1 in 2,000, with the an ill pet the risk increases to about 1 in 500.  Today's modern anesthetic protocols, monitoring equipment, licensed veterinary technicians, and veterinarians all work together to keep your pet safe.  

 Will my pet be in pain?

At Veterinary General, we use a multimodal approach to anesthesia and pain management because our patients deserve to be as comfortable as possible.  Patients in our care receive pain medication before and after surgery ensuring a smooth recovery, as well as oral medications for continued relief.  Nerve blocks are also utilized for procedures such as dental extractions.  Veterinary technicians monitoring your pet can also alert the veterinarian to signs of pain during and after surgery.