Surgery

APPOINTMENT

Our clinic offers a wide range of soft tissue surgical procedures. We very commonly perform spay and neuter surgeries as well as more complicated surgeries such as abdominal exploratories, mass removals, and biopsies.

We also work closely with a local mobile surgical specialist, Dr. Carl Rischen. Dr. Rischen can perform many advanced orthopedic and soft tissue surgical procedures at our clinic, eliminating the need for travel!

We are not high volume, and limit the number of procedures we do each day in order to take the utmost care with each of our patients. A dedicated surgical nurse is with your pet every step of the way. Each and every patient is closely monitored by at least two people throughout the procedure, and parameters such as oxygen saturation, blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature are continually monitored. Pain management is a vital aspect of our pre, intra, and post-operative surgical protocol.

Frequently Asked Questions for the Day of Surgery

Why does my pet have to be fasted?

It is important that anesthesia be administered on an empty stomach to help decrease the risk of vomiting once anesthesia drugs are administered. If a single small meatball is used for medication administration, that is usually ok.

Is water ok?

You can offer water the morning of the surgery. Many patients won’t want to drink since they didn’t get to eat breakfast.

Can my pet get their medication in the morning?

In most cases, it is okay for your pet to get their medication before surgery. In some cases, we will actually ask for anti-anxiety medication to be given the morning before you arrive in a small meatball of food. Please be sure to tell the assistant or technician what medications your pet has received and any other medications they are on when you admit them to the hospital.

To decrease the cost to you, as well as decrease nausea from the anesthetic medications, we recommend starting a medication called Cerenia the night before surgery. We will need to dispense this in advance of your pet’s surgical procedure.

Why does my pet have to be at the hospital early in the morning?

Pets are admitted to the hospital in the morning so that an IV catheter can be placed and IV fluids administered before surgery. Bloodwork may also be performed in the morning to ensure they are healthy for anesthesia and the specific procedure.

What should I bring to the hospital for my pet?

If your pet is on a special food for allergies or on long-term medications, please bring those with you. Medications must be in a labeled veterinary container. Bringing bedding or a special blanket is not required or recommended, as it can get soiled and then get lost in the hospital laundry.

When will my pet’s surgery happen?

Multiple surgeries happen on the same day but the order is usually not set until the morning of surgery to account for the variety of procedure timings, equipment, prep time, presumed discharge time, etc. Our surgeries are typically completed by 2 PM, and our surgical staff will call you once your pet is out of surgery and in recovery to give you an update.

When can I pick up my pet?

Most of our patients go home the same day and some may require overnight care. We will call you after your pet’s procedure to schedule a discharge appointment.

Can I visit my pet after surgery?

In many cases, we want to keep the patients calm after surgery to give them a chance to recover. Because of this protocol, we often ask that owners not visit immediately following surgery.

What do I do when we get home?

At discharge, a member of the surgery team will go over all the discharge instructions and medications. You will also receive detailed written discharge instructions that include things to watch for, medications to give and medication administration times as well as when to recheck with the surgeon. It is common for pets to come home and need a quiet and safe place to sleep and continue their recovery, especially in the first 24 hours.

What should I have ready at home?

Your pet will need a comfy soft bed that is low to the ground. A small room, exercise pen, or large kennel can work well to limit their mobility. Cats do well in a small room or large kennel. For patients that are high energy, small food puzzles or other brain teasers may work well to use some of their energy, while keeping them from being too physically active. You may also want to talk to the family about letting your pet rest as it recovers in the next few weeks. Some favorite foods and snacks are good to have on hand to help spoil your pet as they recover.

Important Questions to ask before choosing a Veterinary Hospital for your pet’s surgery:

Will a veterinarian perform a comprehensive exam prior to anesthesia on the day of surgery?

At Sunrise Veterinary Clinic, we will perform an examination of your pet before surgery to check for fever, heart and lung problems, general health, and any other signs of illness before surgery. This exam allows us to check the health of your pet, tailor our anesthetic plan, and address other issues accordingly.

What other tests are performed before my pet has surgery?

At Sunrise Veterinary Clinic we provide pre-anesthetic blood tests including a CBC (Complete Blood Count) and Biochemical Profile. We can perform these blood tests both in house and by sending them out to a veterinary laboratory. The CBC allows us to check the red and white blood cell counts and shows conditions such as anemia, infection, and low platelet count. The Biochemical Profile checks the function of the liver, kidney, pancreas, and other minerals and electrolytes. These blood tests can help us detect problems before there are obvious signs of disease in your pet. These tests are advised for all pets undergoing anesthesia.

Will my pet have an intravenous catheter and fluids during surgery?

An intravenous (IV) catheter and fluids during all surgeries is beneficial and required at Sunrise Veterinary Clinic for many reasons. The sterile catheter is placed in a blood vein in the leg before general anesthesia. This catheter provides immediate access to the blood stream in the rare event that emergency medications are needed. The intravenous fluids work to keep the patient hydrated and help support blood pressure and processing of anesthetic medications.

What drugs or methods of anesthesia will be used on my pet?

Our anesthetic drugs are tailored to the individual patient. We do not use ‘cookie cutter’ protocols but have a variety of anesthetic agents available to suit the patient and the procedure.

We also intubate every surgical patient with an endotracheal tube at the start of surgery to provide oxygen and protect and maintain the airway. Anesthetic gas mixed in oxygen is delivered through this tube to fine tune the depth of anesthesia. We can also breathefor the patient using this tube and machine if/when necessary. The endotracheal tube also prevents aspiration of any fluids from the esophagus into the lungs. We feel it is inappropriate not to intubate a patient under anesthesia for several of these safety reasons.

We use pre-anesthetic medications to relax and calm pets before anesthesia,these medications also provide pain relief before the surgery begins. Sedatives also help us decrease the amount of anesthetic needed for general anesthesia.

How is my pet monitored during anesthesia?

We feel strongly that anesthetic monitoring is critical and therefore several vital parameters are checked constantly throughout the procedure and through recovery. Your pet is not left alone in a cage; we are with them through the entire anesthetic process. With thorough monitoring of your pet we are quickly alerted of any problems or changes and can make adjustments accordingly.

Sunrise Veterinary Clinic is fully equipped with modern machines to measure blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen content of tissues, and body temperature. For every surgery there is a least one and often two trained staff members present with your pet and monitoring these parameters constantly from the beginning of anesthesia until after your pet is recovered and breathing well following the procedure. We keep an anesthetic record with all the vital parameters recorded and drug amounts and fluid rates tracked for each patient.

What types of surgical care or standards are offered?

Every surgery at Sunrise Veterinary Clinic is performed by a licensed Veterinarian. We value continuing education and take advanced trainingseveral times a year to sharpen our skills and knowledge. We do not consider any surgery ‘routine’. Even though we perform several surgeries each day, we know that each pet may only have one surgery in a lifetime and we take each one seriously.

Anesthesia also causes pets to lose body heat. Cold surgery tables and hospital settings are uncomfortable! Lower body temperature also decreases blood pressure which can lead to problems during and after surgery. For these reasons, our veterinary clinic has invested in veterinary patient warming devices. Much more comfortable for our pet patients!gh recovery. Your pet is not left alone in a cage; we are with them through the entire anesthetic process. With thorough monitoring of your pet we are quickly alerted of any problems or changes and can make adjustments accordingly.

Sunrise Veterinary Clinic is fully equipped with modern machines to measure blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen content of tissues, and body temperature. For every surgery there is a least one and often two trained staff members present with your pet and monitoring these parameters constantly from the beginning of anesthesia until after your pet is recovered and breathing well following the procedure. We keep an anesthetic record with all the vital parameters recorded and drug amounts and fluid rates tracked for each patient.

What about sterility to prevent infection?

All our surgeries are performed in a dedicated operating room. Our doctor wears a cap, mask and sterile surgical gown for each surgery, just like a human doctor! We use a newly sterilized surgical pack for each surgery patient.

What about pain management and nausea?

At Sunrise Veterinary Clinic we are serious about pain management for every surgical patient. We use pain medications before and after surgery and we have access to a variety of pain management tools.

We offer CRI (Constant Rate Infusion) pain management for particularly painful surgeries; this involves an IV drip of pain management (similar to Morphine drip) throughout surgery and recovery. We also have a variety of oral and injectable antibiotics to use when indicated.

We utilize Cerenia, a 24-hour anti-nausea injection for our patients prior to anesthetic induction to minimize nausea in recovery.

What about after surgery care?

We are available during regular business hours to address any problems or concerns after your pet returns home from surgery. For afterhours care, we recommend seeking treatment at the Mid-Columbia Pet Emergency Clinic.

A post-surgery re-check, and suture removal are included free of charge for surgery patients. We also trim the nails of every pet under anesthesia.

When choosing a veterinarian for your pet’s surgery, no matter how ‘routine’ you feel the surgery to be, we encourage you to ask these questions.

At Sunrise Veterinary Clinic our team strives to provide a high standard of care with surgery and anesthesia.
If you have questions or concerns about your pet and surgery & anesthesia please address these with your Veterinarian!

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