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What You Need to Know Before Your Pet's Upcoming Surgery
Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's surgery, and we hope this information will help. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding your pet's procedure.
We use the most modern anesthetics and monitoring equipment to make your pet's procedure as safe as possible. Two licensed veterinary technicians continually monitor and document your pet's anesthetic procedure to ensure maximum safety.
Preanesthetic blood testing
Every pet receives blood testing before any anesthetic procedure. These tests include a CBC, Blood Chemistry Panel and Clotting Profile.
CBC: The Complete Blood Count is a test that provides measurements of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The CBC is an important tool that can detect conditions such as anemia, leukemia and other blood disorders as well as assess stress levels, inflammation, infection and blood clotting capabilities.
Blood Chemistry Panel: The chemistry panel usually includes the following tests: alkaline phosphatase (SAP, ALP), alanine transaminase (alanine aminotransferase, ALT), bilirubin total (T Bili), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, creatine kinase (CK, CPK), sodium, potassium, glucose, total protein, albumin, etc. Alkaline phosphatase, alanine transaminase, bilirubin, and albumin give your veterinarian information about the pet's liver function. Blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and creatine kinase tell your veterinarian how well your pet's kidneys are functioning.
Alkaline phosphatase: An elevated alkaline phosphatase is the most common biochemical abnormality seen in "normal" animals. (In other words, clinically-normal animals can have mildly elevated levels.) Elevated levels are seen in liver injury, bone injury, pregnancy, dental disease, skeletal growth, reactive hepatopathies, and animals who are or have been taking glucocorticoids. Growing animals also normally have higher levels of this enzyme. Elevated levels can be used as a tumor marker, particularly with tumors that have metastasized to the liver. Low levels of alkaline phosphatase may not be clinically significant. However, in humans, decreased serum levels have been observed in hypothyroidism, scurvy, achondroplastic dwarfism, magnesium deficiency, malnutrition, cardiac surgery, cardiopulmonary bypass, and hypophosphatasia.
Alanine transaminase: Decreased ALT in combination with increased cholesterol levels is seen in cases of a congested liver. Increased levels are also seen in liver damage, kidney infection, chemical pollutants, or myocardial infarction.
Bilirubin (total): Elevated in liver disease, hemolytic anemia, low levels of exposure to the sun, and toxic effects to some drugs. Decreased levels are seen in people with an inefficient liver, excessive fat digestion, and possibly a diet low in nitrogen bearing foods.
Blood urea nitrogen: Increases can be caused by excessive protein intake, kidney damage, certain drugs, low fluid intake, intestinal bleeding, exercise, or heart failure. Decreased levels may be due to a poor diet, malabsorption, liver damage, or low nitrogen intake.
Glucose: Elevated in diabetes, liver disease, obesity, and pancreatitis due to steroid medications, or during stress. Low levels may be indicative of liver disease, overproduction of insulin, or hypothyroidism.
Total protein: Decreased levels may be due to poor nutrition, liver disease, malabsorption, diarrhea, or severe burns. Increased levels are seen in lupus, liver disease, chronic infections, leukemia, etc.
Clotting profile: the clotting profile tests the apTT and PT which are standard clotting times in dogs and cats. These values let us know if your pet has a normal ability to clot during a surgical procedure.
For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms (ECG), or radiographs (x-rays) may be required before surgery as well.
Every anesthetized patient has continuous heart (ECG), blood oxygen and blood pressure monitoring by 2 licensed veterinary technicians assigned to their care. All patient's vital signs are continuously monitored and documented during the anesthetic procedure by both technicians. All patients receive intravenous catheters and IV fluids and body temperature regulation throughout their procedure to maintain the safest experience possible.
All pets receive preoperative pain medications based on their age, medical condition and scheduled procedure. They are also monitored for any discomfort after their procedure and medication is administered as needed to prevent pain. You will also receive medication at your discharge appointment to be given when your pet goes home to alleviate any pain and keep them as comfortable as possible.
The doctor will call you after your pet's procedure and answer any questions you may have. Your pet will also have a discharge appointment scheduled prior to leaving our hospital At the discharge appointment we will go over all postoperative instructions including medications to be given and a written discharge sheet to take home detailing these instructions.
As always, don't hesitate to call us at (716)677-4477 if you have any questions or concerns.