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General Surgery and Anesthesia
We provide all types of soft tissue and orthopedic surgical services. If your pet requires surgery, our doctors will make sure that you understand all aspects of the surgery and all options available. We take great care to make sure that your beloved pet is treated as if it were our own.
What You Need to Know Before Your Pet's Upcoming Surgery
Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's surgery, and we hope this information will help. It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet's upcoming surgery.
Is the anesthetic safe? Journey through anesthesia
Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. Here at Cornerstone Veterinary Clinic, 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. The anesthetic drugs we use are the best provided to ensure the highest level of safety for your pet. Every pet is continuously monitored both electronically and by a nurse while under anesthesia and during surgery. We closely watch heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, and oxygen saturation levels.
Preanesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Every pet needs 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 dysfunctions, are geriatric, or undergoing lengthy procedures will recieve IV fluid therapy to maintain blood pressure, oxygen perfusion, and to speed recovery after surgery. If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected.
It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food for beginning at midnight the night before surgery. Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.
Will my pet have stitches?
For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin. These will dissolve on their own, and do not need to be removed later. Some surgeries, especially tumor removals, do require skin stitches. With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for. 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 for the first 10 days after surgery.
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. We take pain relief very seriously. We employ preventative pain management strategies using local anesthetics, narcotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Pain medications are dispensed for all surgical procedures based on the type of surgery performed and the expected recovery time.
While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as dentistry, ear cleaning, or implanting an identification microchip. If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time. This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for surgery is not the primary decision maker for the pet's care.
When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other options available. When you pick up your pet after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet's home care needs.
We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery appointment, to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have. In the meantime, we encourage you to call us with any questions about your pet's health or surgery.
Check out our Wellness Care Plans! Affordable plans that allow you to provide high quality care for your four legged family members with a low monthly payment.
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