HOW DO I KNOW A SURGICAL PROCEDURE IS THE NEXT STEP?
- You consulted with your family veterinarian and your precious pet has been diagnosed with a medical problem that requires a surgical procedure in order to be healed, or to be allowed to live a happy life again.
- Your veterinarian has contacted Dr. Paré to discuss your pet's current condition/exam findings/blood work/radiographs/other tests and imaging, etc.
- Before the phone consult with Dr. Paré try to understand why surgery has been recommended and try to organize your questions. We will want to discuss all your questions and concerns.
To feel more at peace before the surgical procedure, here are a few more guidelines that will help you confirm that you have considered the available options and that you are making the best choice for your pet.
- After the consultations with your family veterinarian and your surgeon, you now understand the nature of your pet's condition, the treatment options, success rates, most common complications and concluded that surgery is the next step.
- You know what is the postoperative care required for the condition and how long the recovery period will be.
- You went over the costs' estimates with your primary care hospital for both the actual procedure and the postoperative care/recheck exams that are likely to apply for this type of medical problem, injury or illness.
- You trust your family veterinarian and understand the present recommendations.
You now feel more comfortable with the process and decided it is time to have the procedure scheduled.
PREPARING FOR THE SURGICAL PROCEDURE
- Make sure you have asked if some medications need to be stopped. A common situation is to forget to stop giving NSAIDs medications ideally 3 days before surgery as they can prevent blood clotting.
- Fasting: The night before the surgery most pets will not be fed after 10 PM for an 8-10 hour fast before general anesthesia. Contact your veterinarian for specific instructions if your pet is very young, weighs less than 5 lbs., or is diabetic. Water can be made available until very early in the morning on the day of surgery.
- Please confirm that the surgical procedure is clearly described on the surgical consent form before you have it signed. The consent form will ask you to confirm that you understand the risks involved. This is something we have usually discussed during the phone consult. You will also need to leave contact information to be reached on the same form.
- Ideally bring all medications and indicate the next due treatment time on the hospitalization drop-off form. Bring a proportional amount of food if your pet's diet is restricted and your pet is expected to be hospitalized overnight.
- Dr. Paré will contact you for a report after the surgical procedure usually once your pet has recovered from anesthesia. Sometimes the phone call will be late in the day but will typically be soon after the surgical procedure. Dr. Paré or the hospital staff would call you if something unusual was going to happen while taking care of your pet.
YOU CAN START PLANNING FOR THE POSTOPERATIVE CARE
Click here to go to the postoperative section
SUGGESTED GUIDELINES FOR PREOPERATIVE BLOOD WORK
- (To be performed at your family veterinary hospital)
- In general CBC, blood chemistries within 1 month of the surgical procedure
- Healthy patients < 2 years: PCV/TS, blood chemistries, urine specific gravity
- Healthy patients 2-10 years: CBC, complete blood chemistries, urine specific gravity
- Patients 10 years+: CBC, complete blood chemistries, urine SG, thoracic radiographs (2 or 3 views)
- Patients with heart murmur: Thoracic radiographs (right lateral, VD) or evaluation by cardiologist
- Patients with a history of azotemia: PCV/TS, blood chemistries within 48 hours
- Patients with suspected neoplasia: Thoracic survey film, standard 3 views, +/- abdominal u/s
- Additional tests that may be required: PT, PTT, ionized calcium, etc.