Surgical, Anesthetic and Patient Monitoring

Our veterinarians provide many surgical services at our clinic, ranging from routine to advanced procedures. Because we want to ensure that our patients receive the best possible outcome, we occasionally refer them to specialists (board-certified veterinary surgeons) to perform complex operations when advanced equipment or training will be beneficial. Our veterinary team will take precautions to ensure that your pet receives a safe anesthetic. We perform a physical exam and preanesthetic testing before surgery, monitor your pet during surgery, and provide pain medication during recovery.

Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring

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GeneralAnesthesiaAt Royal York Animal Hospital we take anesthesia and patient monitoring very seriously. We have a Registered Veterinary Technician (equivalent to a human Registered Nurse) constantly monitoring your pets heart and respiratory rates. Along side this we have state of the art medical equipment monitoring pulse and oxygen ratio and blood pressure ready to alert us to any changes to your pets body. The monitoring does not stop when the surgery or procedure is over. The Technician stays with your pet until they are fully recovered. Your pet spends the remainder of its stay in the treatment room under constant watch.

Anesthesia and patient monitoring varies greatly among clinics. If you are calling around to compare hospitals, be sure to question the types of anesthetics used and the protocols for monitoring anesthesia.

Often the more expensive anesthetics are safer to use; however, anesthetics are also chosen for other reasons including their ability to control pain.

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Pet Surgery Services

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We provide many surgical services at our hospital including routine spays and neuters, soft-tissue and orthopedic surgeries. Occasionally, we refer our patients to specialists (board certified veterinary surgeons) to perform complex operations.

Pet Surgery Performance

When pet surgery is performed on your pet, it is done using sterile surgical techniques, gas anesthesia and the assistance of a surgical technician (nurse) who also monitors the anesthesia. The Royal York Animal Hospital has invested in state of the art surgical monitoring equipment. This equipment along with the surgical technician monitors vital signs (blood oxygen levels, heartrate, ECG, breathing patterns and temperature) continuously during your pet’s surgery. We also keep our surgical patients on a warm air circulator to help them maintain a normal tempurature throughout the procedure and recovery. All of this is done for your pet’s comfort and safety.

In most cases the patients will be admitted to the hospital between 7:00 and 9:00 AM, on the morning of the surgery. The technician who admits your pet will spend a few minutes with you while you fill out our anaesthetic consent form, and will discuss your pet’s surgery with you. This technician will be your pet’s primary care giver throughout the day. She and her assistant will work closely with the doctor to ensure your pet is comfortable and receives all necessary medical attention. We advise owners to call about their pets after 3 pm on the day of surgery however you can expect a call from the veterinarian when surgery is complete and when your pet is recovering from anaesthetic.

The success of many surgical procedures depends greatly on proper home care. At the time of release, we will provide instructions concerning home care and feeding. Call us if you have any suspicion that things are not progressing as planned or if events occur that the doctor or technician did not mention.

 

Tranquilization/Sedation

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If travel, thunder, or fireworks upset your pet, he or she may benefit from tranquilization or sedation. While sedated, the animal will stay awake or sleep lightly but can be roused when stimulated. To minimize any potential risk associated with tranquilization or sedation, we need to assess each animal individually before we dispense these medications.

Please contact us if you would like to set up an assessment or discuss sedation with us.

General Anesthesia

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For some procedures, your pet will need to be administered general anesthesia so that he or she will be unconscious and not feel pain. Many pet owners worry about their pets being administered general anesthesia. We can assure you that modern anesthesia is generally quite safe; to further lower any risk, we perform a physical examination and run blood work ahead of time to catch any underlying health issues. In addition, we follow a specific anesthetic protocol, including monitoring vital signs during the procedure, to ensure the safety of our patients.

We begin most general anesthetic procedures by administering a sedative to help the pet relax and decrease any anxiety and pain. We then administer an intravenous drug to provide complete anesthesia and place a breathing tube into the patient’s trachea (windpipe). To maintain the state of unconsciousness, we deliver a gas anesthetic in combination with oxygen through the breathing tube.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet receiving general anesthesia or about the procedure for which your pet is scheduled.

Local Anesthesia

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If your pet is having a minor surgical or diagnostic procedure performed, we sometimes use a local anesthetic to help control pain. For example, when we perform a biopsy (in which a small portion of tissue is surgically removed so it can be examined), we often use a local anesthetic. Local anesthetics cause a loss of sensation in the area where the procedure is being performed. We sometimes use a sedative and/or anxiolytic (anti-anxiety medication) in combination with the local anesthetic to keep pets calm during a procedure.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet receiving local anesthesia or about the procedure for which your pet is scheduled.

Spaying

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Spaying your pet has many benefits. The procedure, which prevents female animals from becoming pregnant and reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. Spaying will not change your pet’s personality.

By spaying your female pet, you’re protecting her against potentially deadly diseases, including bacterial infections, reproductive tract diseases, and several types of cancer. You also won’t have to worry about her going into heat. This means avoiding the mess that often accompanies the heat cycle in female dogs and the pacing and crying that happens with female cats. In addition, spaying your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.

Spaying, which involves removing the ovaries and uterus, is a surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under anesthesia. We follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure her safety. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.

To set up an appointment to have your pet spayed or to learn more about this procedure, call or visit our clinic. If you are struggling with the decision of whether to spay your pet, please call us so we can discuss your concerns.

Neutering

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Neutering your pet has many benefits. The procedure, which prevents male animals from reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. Neutering will not change your pet’s personality.

By neutering your pet, you’re reducing or eliminating his risk for prostate and testicular cancer, as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Neutering will also reduce or eliminate undesirable and embarrassing behaviour, including roaming, fighting, humping, and spraying. In addition, neutering your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.

Neutering, which involves removing the testicles, is a surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under anesthesia. We follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure his safety. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.

To set up an appointment to have your pet neutered or to learn more about this procedure, please call or visit our clinic. If you are struggling with the decision of whether to neuter your pet, please call us so we can discuss your concerns.

Soft Tissue Surgery

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We perform many types of soft tissue surgeries at our clinic. Soft tissue surgeries are those that are not associated with bone. These surgeries can provide many benefits to pets.

Probably the most common soft tissue surgery performed on pets is the removal of masses, or lumps. Most of these masses, once removed and tested, are found to be benign (nonharmful); however, occasionally they are more serious. Early removal and accurate diagnosis of a lump is necessary to improve the outcome in your pet if the mass is cancerous.

If your dog suffers from frequent ear infections, surgical intervention can reduce their occurrence by improving airflow into the ear canal.

Surgery can also help resolve several problems related to the eyes. Tearing in your pet’s eyes can mean an infection is present or may be a sign that the cornea (outer layer of the eye) has been damaged. Surgery may allow the cornea to heal faster with less scarring, improving your pet’s ability to see. In some pets, the eyelashes may actually damage the cornea. Surgical intervention improves comfort in these pets, reduces the chances of corneal scarring, and enhances the pet’s vision in the long term.

Please contact us if you’d like to discuss how soft tissue surgery might be able to help your pet.