Just like human surgery, there are not many experiences that tax the animal body more than surgery. That is why Muddy Creek Animal Hospital is committed to doing everything possible to create the safest and most comfortable experience we can for surgery patients.
We provide the most current methods of pain management for our surgery patients. We know that providing proper pain management before pain is created (i.e. making an incision) will dramatically reduce pain after the surgery has been performed. Our pain management process involves 4 steps. First, we administer a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) prior to surgery. It's similar to aspirin, but has 8 times the pain relief with a decreased bleeding risk. We then give an injection of a combination of pain relievers prior to the surgery, one of which is similar to Morphine. For our more prolonged or painful procedures, we will administer a local anesthetic at the incision site, or also administer a CRI (constant rate infusion) to our most painful patients. This delivers a continuous amount of a combination of pain drugs to the patient during the entire surgery, delivering maximum pain protection. We administer pain medications as needed to reduce pain during the initial recovery process immediately following surgery. Lastly, when we discharge your pet, you will receive oral pain reliever to be given at home for a few days following surgery to keep your pet comfortable.The last step helps keep your pet comfortable during recovery at home.
Emergencies do not happen often, but as in humans, the risk is always there. We recommend pre-operative blood-work for all of our patients. Pre-operative blood-work lets us know how well vital internal organs are working prior to undergoing surgery. We also place an intravenous (IV) catheter in every animal that undergoes anesthesia. This enables us to administer IV fluids throughout the procedure to keep your pet hydrated. Having an IV catheter also allows us to us administer lifesaving medications into your pet should an emergency arise. In order to receive and maintain anesthesia, all patients must have a tube inserted into the trachea (the airway from the mouth to the lungs) so your pet can breathe in 100% oxygen as well as gas anesthesia throughout the procedure.
Gas anesthesia is monitored very closely. An apnea alert system is attached to monitor each breath, an ECG is placed to monitor heart rate and rhythm, and a blood pressure cuff is placed to monitor blood pressure. Gas anesthesia decreases core body temperature. The longer an animal is under anesthesia, the lower the body temperature may drop. For this reason, we also monitor core body temperature throughout surgery and warming procedures are in place to help regulate body temperature. We have a warming blanket called a Bair Hugger, that literally wraps the patient in a warm air comforter after surgery. 50% of all surgical related deaths happen AFTER the surgery has been completed. We have one technician monitoring one post op patient until that patient is awake and out of danger. It is impossible to monitor post op patients that closely if 15-30 surgeries are being preformed each day. We believe in quality over quantity when it comes to the safety of your pet. All of these procedures and devices allow us to decrease potential risks before they become serious problems. Thus, the risk of an emergency arising is dramatically reduced.
Every veterinary hospital has different surgery procedures and protocols. In our efforts to decrease anesthetic risks and post-operative pain, our costs may be higher than other local veterinary hospitals. With the current strain on the economy, we certainly understand the financial burden a surgical procedure can have on the wallets of our valued pet owners. However, let Muddy Creek Animal Hospital assure you that we are committed to treating every animal as if it were our own. Our surgery patients are no exception and their health is of our utmost concern.
We hope this explains the true value of our patients as well as our continued commitment to keeping our valued pet owners informed of our efforts to provide the best care possible for your pet. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call (410) 867-0770.