The doctors at Bear Creek Veterinary Care have more thirty years of combined experience performing a variety of surgical procedures, from routine spays and neuters to more complicated soft tissue and emergency procedures.
Deciding to move forward with surgery can be a stressful and confusing endeavor. We want to make sure that you understand what to expect from beginning to end.
– Initial examination: Most of the time, it is determined that surgery would benefit your pet at a veterinary appointment. The doctor will explain what the procedure entails and what benefits you can expect to see if you decide to move forward.
– Estimated Cost: We will give you an estimate of what the procedure will cost. Frequently, we cannot tell the extent of what is needed until we have additional information gained when your pet is under anesthesia. This occurs for two major reasons. Firstly, pets cannot communicate the extent of their pain or suffering. Secondly, we are unable to perform some diagnostic tests, such as dental x-rays, in an awake animal. For this reason, there can be a significant gap between the projected low end of the estimate and the high end. Should costs be a concern, you may request additional communication during the procedure to be part of the decision-making process every step of the way.
– Presurgical appointment: We will schedule a presurgical appointment with the nurse prior to the day of surgery. At that appointment, we will collect a blood sample from your pet to insure he or she does not have any health risks that would impact the safety of the anesthesia, we will review the arrival time and fasting instructions, you will review and complete the presurgical paperwork, and you will leave a deposit to reserve the surgery time. The nurse (and the doctor, if needed) will answer any additional questions you may have about the procedure. If the surgery is an emergency, or you schedule the surgery at the time of your pet’s initial exam, the procedures normally completed at that visit will be taken care of at the initial exam.
– Day of surgery: You will have received a phone call or text reminding you what time to bring your pet in for surgery, and any fasting instructions.
- When you arrive, we will confirm your pet’s weight and make sure you do not have any additional questions. If known ahead of time, we will set a time for you to pick up your pet. You are welcome to stay in our waiting room while your pet has surgery, although most people elect to leave their pet as they may need to be with us for up to 6 hours.
- In the presurgical preparation area, your pet will have all of his or her vitals checked, as well as a presurgical physical exam by the surgeon. We will call you at that time if the doctor or you have any questions or concerns.
- We believe strongly in individualized pain management for your pet. Each and every surgical procedure includes and individualized pain management plan for the pre- and post- operative period, and well as during surgery.
- An anesthetic plan will be confirmed by the anesthetic nurse. This nurse will stay with your pet exclusively until he or she has recovered from anesthesia. The agents used to induce (anesthetize) your pet, as well as the gas used to keep him or her under are all human medications used for human anesthesia. In addition, the nurse monitors your pet’s vitals, including temperature, pulse, respiration, pulse oxygenation, and blood pressure throughout the procedure with advanced anesthetic monitoring equipment. This allows us to intervene early if there are changes in those values.
- The surgeon and the surgical nurse will place an IV catheter in your pet’s arm, and begin fluids. These fluids help maintain blood pressure and protect your pet’s kidneys and other vital organs. It is also a port for administering medications during the procedure. Your pet will have a tube put in his or her throat so that we can administer oxygen and anesthetic gasses. Sometimes, this tube causes mild throat irritation, and your pet may cough for a day or two following the procedure. Both your pet’s arm, as well as the surgical site(s) will be shaved.
- After the procedure, your pet will be recovered from anesthesia. We will make sure that he or she is warm, comfortable, and safe.
- You can expect a call from us when your pet is awake and alert. Occasionally, we may recommend transferring your pet to an overnight care facility for observation.
- Finally, when you arrive to pick up your pet, you will pay any remaining balance on your account, and will then meet with the nurse to discuss home care and follow up appointments. We will help you and your pet to the car if you need assistance. Especially when narcotics are used, your pet may act drowsy or clumsy when you get home, but should be like himself or herself the next morning.
– Your pet’s safety and comfort during surgery are our primary concerns, and we strive to make each surgical procedure as stress-free and safe as possible.