You are bringing your pet in for surgery tomorrow morning. Tensions are high. You love your pet, you want to do what's right for your pet, but you have a lot of questions that haven't been answered. So what do you do? So what do you say? First off, relax – most of the time, with anesthesia, there is no problems. No big deal, right?
Let me ask you this – what if it were you that were going into surgery tomorrow? What questions would you ask the doctor or the staff about things to do preoperatively? That's a huge and very important question to ask. There's nothing worse then not knowing, the unknown factor. So what can we do as a profession to ease your mind?
Several things come to mind in this situation. First off, do is much as you can proactively to eliminate the unknown. This means a complete physical exam prior to surgery, pre-anesthetic blood work, and during the procedure to monitor your pet for all of their vital signs. Eliminate the unknown! Pre-anesthetic bloodwork will tell the doctor and staff about your pet's organ system functions, and also how their cells are working in their body. This is very important. To fight infection, to tolerate the drugs that we used to make the procedure goes smoothly, and recovery from the anesthesia.
Monitoring your pet during the surgery is also very important. Making sure that you have easy access to their bloodstream for administering drugs, fluid therapy, and monitoring all of your pet's vital signs including body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels in the blood, and gases that are expelled by your pet during the procedure. These are all very important parameters and can tell us before anything critical happens, to adjust certain things about your pets anesthesia to make it safer. Eliminate the unknown! Not knowing these things and doing the surgery, puts your pet at unnecessary risks of something going wrong and the staff not knowing about. Is that unknown worth the risk, because you think the cost of these things is too expensive? Your answer should be no. Please ask, because if you don't, you may regret it. It's the worst phone call ever to make to call a client after the surgery and tell them that their pet had a problem and possibly died. You never want to have to tell anybody that, especially in an elective procedure like a dental, spay, or neuter. We always give our clients estimates for surgeries, no matter what. We do not cut corners on surgeries! There are good reasons why we do this and I've explained those in this post. But still ask questions, that is a good thing. Costs have to be figured in on everything that we do, because we know it's important to you. So always ask before we do surgery, that way everybody will be on the same page. You should always ask your veterinarian the same questions because they are very very important. If he or she cannot answer those questions, then you may want to reconsider them doing the surgery. Eliminate the unknown! Dr. Biles