Every pet parent is concerned about placing their loved one under anesthesia, and rightfully so! To help ease minds and explain the process a bit more, we have created a small slide show to help go “behind the scenes” to help explain what happens for each procedure.

And while we realize that anesthesia is something many pet owners fear for their beloved companions, we also hope that many are able to realize that without surgery and anesthesia, we would not be able to provide life saving tools.

After being admitted to the hospital for an anesthetic procedure, your pet will have blood collected to assess their liver, kidneys, and overall biochemical status.  This is helpful to determine if there are any special changes required.  While blood testing is very helpful, it is sadly not a predictor of whether a patient will have an anesthetic reaction or complication.  An IV (intravenous) catheter will then be placed (as seen here), to allow administration of injectable anesthesia, pain medications, antibiotics and other intentions such as fluid therapy.  After being admitted to the hospital for an anesthetic procedure, your pet will have blood collected to assess their liver, kidneys, and overall biochemical status. This is helpful to determine if there are any special changes required. While blood testing is very helpful, it is sadly not a predictor of whether a patient will have an anesthetic reaction or complication. An IV (intravenous) catheter will then be placed (as seen here), to allow administration of injectable anesthesia, pain medications, antibiotics and other intentions such as fluid therapy. Whether your pet is a dog or a cat, their airway is best protected by intubating them with a small tube.  This allows administration of oxygen and gas anesthesia directing to their airways. If your pet is not breathing as deeply or effectively as they should (common in obese pets), this tube allows us to breath constantly for your pet during anesthesia.  Because some pets regurgitate or produce excessive amounts of saliva with anesthesia, this tube also markedly protects their airways/lungs from accidentally inhaling any of this fluid which helps protect from aspiration pneumonia. Risks with the presence of the airway tube may include tracheal irritation or laceration, but these complications are incredibly rare every step is taken to provide meticulous handling of this tube during procedures. Whether your pet is a dog or a cat, their airway is best protected by intubating them with a small tube. This allows administration of oxygen and gas anesthesia directing to their airways. If your pet is not breathing as deeply or effectively as they should (common in obese pets), this tube allows us to breath constantly for your pet during anesthesia. Because some pets regurgitate or produce excessive amounts of saliva with anesthesia, this tube also markedly protects their airways/lungs from accidentally inhaling any of this fluid which helps protect from aspiration pneumonia. Risks with the presence of the airway tube may include tracheal irritation or laceration, but these complications are incredibly rare every step is taken to provide meticulous handling of this tube during procedures. Once your pet has had their airway protected, they are connected to equipment to provide the lowest effective/safe dose of gas anesthesia.  This equipment allows us to constantly adjust the needs of your pet during the procedure.  Dr. Loose is seen here adjusting the patient's airway tube so as to not have too much air present in the small cuff within this patient's trachea/airway.  The patient is suspended in a small trough under this towel to help maintain steady body position. Beneath this towel is a large circulating water blanket that helps your pet maintain their body temperature during surgery.  If a pets temperature drops too low in surgery, they can have complications such as low blood pressure. Once your pet has had their airway protected, they are connected to equipment to provide the lowest effective/safe dose of gas anesthesia. This equipment allows us to constantly adjust the needs of your pet during the procedure. Dr. Loose is seen here adjusting the patient's airway tube so as to not have too much air present in the small cuff within this patient's trachea/airway. The patient is suspended in a small trough under this towel to help maintain steady body position. Beneath this towel is a large circulating water blanket that helps your pet maintain their body temperature during surgery. If a pets temperature drops too low in surgery, they can have complications such as low blood pressure. And speaking of blood pressure, your pet is monitored on multiple levels.  Heart rate, ECG, blood pressure, CO2 levels (carbon dioxide levels), and Sp02 (oxygen level) are all monitoring constantly during your pets procedure.  Subtle changes in theses values may indicate the need to adjust fluid administration, anesthesia amount, pain medication administration, and if we need to start manually helping your pet breathe more effectively. And speaking of blood pressure, your pet is monitored on multiple levels. Heart rate, ECG, blood pressure, CO2 levels (carbon dioxide levels), and Sp02 (oxygen level) are all monitoring constantly during your pets procedure. Subtle changes in theses values may indicate the need to adjust fluid administration, anesthesia amount, pain medication administration, and if we need to start manually helping your pet breathe more effectively. And while monitoring equipment is wonderful to have for each patient, nothing compares to having a dedicated veterinary assistant or technician devoted to providing hands on evaluation of your pet while under anesthesia. Changes in pulse quality, jaw tone, eye position, gum color, breathing character, and more are much more subtly noticed and can not be measured on any machine.  And while monitoring equipment is wonderful to have for each patient, nothing compares to having a dedicated veterinary assistant or technician devoted to providing hands on evaluation of your pet while under anesthesia. Changes in pulse quality, jaw tone, eye position, gum color, breathing character, and more are much more subtly noticed and can not be measured on any machine. Once your pet is deemed to be at a safe anesthetic level, they are prepped in a sterile manner. This involves shaving the necessary areas and placing a surgical solution on their skin that kills surface bacteria.  Dr. Loose undergoes a similar prep to her arms and hands prior to doning a surgical gown, gloves, mask and surgical cap.  This protects your pet from harmful bacteria that may be present on skin surfaces as well as oral or nasal cavities.  Once your pet has completed the procedure, Dr. Loose will cleanse the surgical site prior to recovery. Protective incisional covers are then placed while in the hospital and prior to going home. This is another layer of protection for your pet's incision.  Once your pet is deemed to be at a safe anesthetic level, they are prepped in a sterile manner. This involves shaving the necessary areas and placing a surgical solution on their skin that kills surface bacteria. Dr. Loose undergoes a similar prep to her arms and hands prior to doning a surgical gown, gloves, mask and surgical cap. This protects your pet from harmful bacteria that may be present on skin surfaces as well as oral or nasal cavities. Once your pet has completed the procedure, Dr. Loose will cleanse the surgical site prior to recovery. Protective incisional covers are then placed while in the hospital and prior to going home. This is another layer of protection for your pet's incision. Once your pet has completed the surgical procedure,they are transferred to a recovery area where a dedicated assistant, or Dr. Loose herself sits by your pets side until they are able to swallow well, sit up, and can safely have their airway tube removed and breath safely on their own. Once your pet has completed the surgical procedure,they are transferred to a recovery area where a dedicated assistant, or Dr. Loose herself sits by your pets side until they are able to swallow well, sit up, and can safely have their airway tube removed and breath safely on their own.

 

If you would like to witness amazing before, during and after pictures of a large cancerous mass removal, please continue to click here. Please note that viewer discretion is advised.


These 3 images are the before surgical prep, during surgical removal, and post removal of a large cancerous mass on a 20 year old kitty cat. What started out very small, progressed to a mass covering nearly the entire surface of the top of her head. This change occurred in less than a years time. Her owner was very, very nervous about surgery in such an elderly pet. We were able to successfully remove all of the cancer through the use of an advancement flap procedure (using skin from her neck to cover the large defect from the tumor removal). We are pleased to say she is doing great!
These 3 images are the before surgical prep, during surgical removal, and post removal of a large cancerous mass on a 20 year old kitty cat. What started out very small, progressed to a mass covering nearly the entire surface of the top of her head. This change occurred in less than a years time. Her owner was very, very nervous about surgery in such an elderly pet. We were able to successfully remove all of the cancer through the use of an advancement flap procedure (using skin from her neck to cover the large defect from the tumor removal. We are pleased to say she is doing great!