Shreveport Veterinary Internal Medicine

7013 Sand Beach Blvd.
Shreveport, LA 71105

(318)754-4753

svimvet.com

What You Need to Know Before Your Pet's Upcoming Procedure


Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's sedation and anesthesia and we hope this information will help.  It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet's upcoming procedure.

Is the anesthetic safe?

Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past.  Here at SVIM, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics and adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet.  

Preanesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia.  Every pet needs blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic.  Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing.  If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications.  Animals that have minor dysfunctions will handle the anesthetic better if they receive IV fluids or other therapies before,during and after anesthesia.  If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected.

 It is important that anesthesia be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after.  You will need to withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before.  Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of anesthetic procedures.

Will my pet have stitches?

Most procedures at SVIM do not require stitches.  Some types of biopsies and skin tumor removals require skin stitches.  You will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge.  Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for. Some need to wear a special collar to prevent licking and chewing.  If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery.  You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for a time and no baths are allowed for the first 10 days after surgery.

Instructions for warm and cold packing incisions or wounds:

If you are instructed to do warm packing

1.  Take a damp clean wash cloth.   2. Put it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.  It should be warm without being uncomfortable to your skin.  3.  Gently hold it on the area for 3-5 minutes.  Repeat this 2-6 times daily as instructed.

Cold Packing:

1.  take a damp wash cloth and freeze it or use a bag of frozen peas or corn.  Put a dry thin towel over the area then apply the cold pack for 3-5 minutes.  Repeat 2-6 times a day as instructed.

Will my pet be in pain?

Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals.  Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don't whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it.  Pain medications needed will depend on the procedure performed.  Major procedures require more pain relief.

Some procedures like nasal biopsy and some liver biopsies may cause significant discomfort for up to 48 hours afterward.  Furthermore some conditions are already painful.  We use many forms of injections, oral medications, and trans dermal gels to accomplish the pain control your pet needs.



What other decisions do I need to make?

You may have questions about your pets specific risk of anesthesia or possible complications of procedures.  Dr. Treadwell will advise you of the risks and benefits of recommended testing.  You are encouraged to ask us questions about your pets health care.