Pet owners rarely see behind the scenes at veterinary practices. For most, this can be a daunting thought when leaving your beloved pets for a procedure or surgery. Therefore, we wanted to give you an insight into what goes on for a patient during routine neutering, from admit at the start of the day, to sending them home in the evening.
Most patients will come in for surgery having been starved from the night before.
You will meet with one of our vets or nurses who will discuss the procedure, any risks involved, check the patient’s medical history and weigh your pet. You will also be given a consent form to sign and any questions you have will be answered. We will ask their food preferences and collect their favourite cuddly toys to make them feel at home.
Our team of veterinary nurses will settle the patient into a kennel. Each species has their own ward to reduce any stress. Spacious kennels are provided with comfortable beds and blankets. All patients have a dedicated nurse who will continually monitor them and give plenty of reassurance.
Any patients who are having pre-anaesthetic blood screens or having intravenous fluid therapy will have these carried out now.
Once the veterinary team are happy to proceed to surgery, the patients are often given a sedative. This provides them with pain relief, helps them feel relaxed.
All dog neutering is carried out under general anaesthetic. Once an intravenous catheter is placed in the front leg, anaesthetic drugs and supportive fluids can be given easily. You will notice a shaved area on your pet’s leg from this.
Once the patient is asleep, a breathing tube is placed, and oxygen mixed with an anaesthetic gas is given to keep them asleep. The nurse will monitor the patient constantly whilst under anaesthetic checking the heart, breathing and temperature.
Before going into theatre, the patient’s surgical site is prepared. A large area of shaved fur is needed around the surgical site to ensure sterility. Don’t worry this will grow back quickly! Once the fur is clipped, the skin is thoroughly cleaned using a surgical scrub.
Sterile equipment is prepared, the surgeon dressed in gown and gloves and the patient is taken into theatre.
Waking Up & Recovery
Once the surgery is finished, the anaesthetic gas is turned off and we allow the patient to wake up gently in a quiet environment. Their recovery is constantly monitored by a dedicated nurse who will ensure they are calm and comfortable. The recovery nurse will offer food and water once the patient is bright and alert and walk them in the garden. Cuddles from all team members is guaranteed throughout!
Once your pet is fully awake, the recovery nurse will give you an update on how their procedure went, as well as arranging a discharge time.
Post-Operative Home Care
Upon discharge, the nurse will provide you with patient specific home care. This includes monitoring your pet for any signs of discomfort, strict rest, administering medication and stopping wound interference. A buster collar or pet medical shirt can be used to stop patients licking their surgical wound. Any questions will be answered by our nursing team.
Post-operative checks are usually a few days after the procedure. Re-checks allow us to make sure everything is healing well and identify any abnormalities early. A final recheck at approximately ten days post-surgery may be recommended. Once signed off, your pet can go back to their normal routine!