Whether performing a routine surgery or an emergency procedure, you can have confidence that the veterinarians and staff at Best Friends Animal Hospital will work hard to ensure each procedure is thorough, done with the utmost expertise, and is as stress-free as possible for both you and your pet. The entire team at Best Friends understands that the decision to allow your pet to undergo surgery is never easy. To that end, we’re happy to answer any questions regarding your pet’s surgery and encourage owners to schedule a pre-surgical consultation so a doctors may better address any questions or concerns.
Best Friends Animal Hopital’s facility ensures procedures are as safe and efficient as possible. We have two dedicated surgical suites – one for general surgery and one for orthopedic/advanced procedures. Both surgical suites are equipped with state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, warming blankets and staff to constantly observe/monitor each patient undergoing anesthesia.
A pre-anesthetic exam is performed on all patients the day of their surgery by the surgeon. All clients are offered pre-anesthetic bloodwork which is performed in our in-house laboratory and gives us an indication of their pet’s kidney function, liver function, and blood glucose. This blood test is optional (but recommended) for animals under 5 years of age, and required for all pets over 5 years of age. Clients can also choose if they would like an intravenous (IV) catheter placed and IV fluids administered to their pet while under general anesthesia. The purpose of the IV catheter is to give us an easy route to administer IV fluids and also in the rare instance that emergency drugs are needed during the anesthesia or surgery. The IV fluids help maintain adequate blood pressure during the procedure. The IV catheter and fluids are optional (but recommended) for animals under 5 years of age, and required for all pets over 5 years of age.
For most surgical procedures, anesthesia is required. While under anesthesia, your pet is continuously monitored by our staff and specialized anesthesia monitoring technology. Your pet’s blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature and oxygen level are all tracked during surgery. Specialized warming blankets are used to assist in maintaining your pet’s constant body temperature during the procedure.
For all routine (spay/neuter/declaw) surgeries, we follow our hospital pain management protocol, which includes a combination of injectable and oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and opoid pain relievers. We believe strongly that adequate pain management is mandatory and necessary in all surgery patients. Our surgery treatment plans include all of the pain management medications, as well as one night of hospitalization. We keep most of our surgery patients overnight to ensure that pain is under control, to hopefully identify animals that may have tendencies to lick at the surgical site, and to ensure they have a good night’s rest.
The amount of time your pet will need to be monitored after surgery varies. In some cases, animals will need to be monitored overnight; in others, they can be sent home the same day. When your pet is discharged, you will be provided information on proper home care after surgery Often your pet will be prescribed medication; in the case, we will explain how and when to administer it. In addition, many of our routine surgery patients, we use absorbable suture material under the skin, meaning suture removal is not necessary. If the surgeon decides to place non-absorbable skin sutures, suture removal is performed generally in 10-14 days at no additional cost.
Why do we keep your pet overnight after routine spay/neuter procedures?
It is our policy at Best Friends Animal Hospital to keep all pets that have routine spay/neuter/declaw procedures overnight at least one night at the hospital. We do this for several reasons, but the bottom line is that we want the best for them and believe this should be the standard of care.
One of the most important reasons is that we want to make sure each pet’s pain is adequately addressed. Although we have a standard pain management protocol for each procedure, pets are individuals and occasionally need more pain medication. The last thing we want is for your pet to be painful. We pride ourselves in being aggressive and attentive with pain management because studies have shown that patients experiencing pain actually have delayed healing. Pain management is not optional for our patients!
Second, we want to minimize complications from the procedure. One of the most life threatening potential complications from any of these procedures is bleeding. We keep them overnight to monitor them for any signs of bleeding, so we could address this complication as soon as possible. While life-threatening bleeding rarely occurs, it is a potential with any surgery, especially abdominal procedures. Most patients do not bother or lick their incision sites, but approximately 10% of the time, they do! If so, we like to identify and remedy this early, before sutures or stitches are removed.
Third, we want them to get a very good night’s rest. During anesthesia, they are not “sleeping” and are often pretty exhausted at the end of the day. We want to ensure they have a first restful night, and we also want you to rest easy and not worry about waking up several times during the night to check your furry kid!
Keeping pets overnight costs us more, because we have to pay for the facility and personnel to monitor them. It does not save us money to keep them overnight. But we believe this is the right thing to do for your pet and to minimize pain and complications. We want this high standard of care because they are our “best friends.”
Reasons to Spay/Neuter your Pet
Benefits of Spaying (Females):
No heat cycles – no mess and no attraction of male dogs. Risk of mammary gland tumors, ovarian and/or uterine cancer is reduced or eliminated, especially if done before the first heat cycle. Less desire to roam. Reduces or eliminates the risk of developing a pyometra, or life-threatening infection in the uterus. Reduces the number of unwanted animals. Helps dogs and cats live longer and healthier lives.
Benefits of Neutering (Males):
Reduces or eliminates the risk of spraying and/or marking. Less likely to roam, therefore less likely to be injured in fights or auto accidents. Risk of testicular cancer is eliminated, and decreases the incidence of prostate disease. Reduces the number of unwanted animals. Decreases aggressive behavior, including dog bites. Helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.