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~The PetFriends Difference - Anesthesia and Surgery:          When scheduling your pet for a spay, neuter, dental, or declaw, ask the hospital performing the procedure the following important questions:

1.  Will my pet have a full physical examination prior to surgery?  (It is important to auscult heart and lungs, palpate the abdomen, evaluate mucous membrane color and capillary refill time, hydration
status, lymph nodes, and other parameters as surgery safety precautions). 

2.  Will human grade injectable and gas anesthesia be used on my pet during surgery? (propofol, isoflurane, and sevoflurane are routinely used here.  Sevoflurane is a pediatric anesthetic deemed safest for children - and pets.)  

3.  Will IV fluids be an option for my pet's surgery? (they are certainly given during human surgery, and we strongly recommend them for our pets as well..  IV fluids help maintain organ perfusion, body temperature, and hydration durirng anesthesia.  By diluting lactic acid, they help prevent acidosis.  Also, in the very rare event an emergency should occur while a patient is under anesthesia, having an IV already in place is extremely valuable) .

4.  Will supplemental heat be provided while my pet is under anesthesia?  (Body temperature always drops during anesthesia.  We use Gaymar circulating water heating mats, warmed IV fluids and other measures to safely minimize heat loss during anesthesia)    .  

5.  Will 'gut' or 'reel' suture be used on my pet?   (We use only high grade sutures as used in human surgery.  Chromic gut, widely favored by 'low cost' spay and neuter clinics, is very  tissue reactive and often causes severe inflammation.  This leads to sterile peritonitis,  and pain / discharge at the incision site in many cases.)  

6.   Will any machines or anesthetists  be used to monitor my pet while under anesthesia?  (We use EKG and/or pulse oximetry monitoring on spays, neuters, and dental cleaning patients, as well as experienced techniicians to monitor anesthesia depth and vitals during anesthesia.  Post op monitoring is important as well)

7.  Will oxygen be provided to my pet while under anesthesia?  (Spays and neuters should have oxygen supplied and not just breathe room air, as is the norm at some low cost clinics.  With the exception of some cat neuters who can be maintained using mask oxygen/gas anesthesia, all of our spays, neuters, and dentals are also intubated for added safety.).  

8.  What kind of pain medication will be provided for my pet?   (Opioids (such as morphine, buprenorphine, and hydromorphone),  NSAIDs (such as meloxicam and carprofen) , local anesthetics (such as bupivacaine and lidocaine), topical anesthetics (such as benzocaine after dental extractions) , and oral analgesics (such as tramadol and NSAIDs) are all  in our arsenal for pain control.  We typically use at least three methods of pain control for each patient.) 

9.   Is a blood panel recommended / available before my pet's surgery?   (We recommend blood tests before all spays, neuters, and dentals, to check health of internal organs.  This helps us decide if a pet is even a candidate for anethesia at all, whether NSAIDs are safe, and what kind of IV fluids to choose during anesthesia.).  

10.   Will an E-colllar be supplied following surgery to prevent my pet from chewing at the incision?  (Prevent a late night emergency - be sure you pet has and wears an E-collar for ten days after a spay or neuter).   

11.  Will a doctor be available if I have any concerns after I take my pet home from surgery?  (We are here 24 hours a day, every day, to help you and your pet.) 

Before scheduling your pet's spay, neuter, or dental cleaning, discuss all eleven of these questions with the doctor ahead of time, for your pet's comfort and safety.