Guide to Elective Surgery

Thank you for recognizing the need to spay or neuter your pet. Some people “shop around” for the best price on this surgery without the knowledge of why the cost may vary among veterinary practices. The fact is, the veterinary profession has changed a great deal over the past 15 or 20 years. We have learned a lot, the profession has changed and the standards of practice have changed along the way. As you might guess, some in the profession have embraced the changes and others have been slow to change. There may be some veterinarians practicing outside the current standards. The changes over this period range from better understanding pain medications and their role in the comfort of the patient to better managing the patient for safety during (and after) the procedure.

Here at Companion Animal Hospital we utilize the most current strategies for the safety of our pet patients. We use the same protocols for elective surgeries (like spay and neuters) as we do for any other surgery. We apply the most current pain medication protocols as well. This greatly enhances the surgery experience and recovery for the patient. Yes, it may cost a little more to do these things and we may look a little less “competitive” but it is simply the right thing to do because it is best for your pet! If you were having surgery would you have faith in a doctor that thought pain management or some basic safety measures were optional???

This guide was created to help you find the best fit between the veterinary practice and your expectations for the care of your pet. Unfortunately the difference in individual practice standards can be difficult to ascertain over the phone and by checking the “price” of a procedure. So BUYER BEWARE!!! We recommend that you do this business (and all of your business for that matter) with a veterinarian you trust and can talk to about all aspects of your pet’s health and wellbeing.

Here are some questions to ask and why it is important to ask them:

This is important for a number of reasons. A thorough examination is the first defense against performing on an animal that may have an infectious disease, heart murmur or be debilitated from parasites.

Pre-anesthetic blood work is a recommended diagnostic tool for an ill patient and patients who otherwise appear healthy to uncover hidden illness. Being completely aware of your pet’s condition helps us provide the safest anesthetic experience possible for your pet.

Electrocardiogram (EKG) is another test that can help evaluate an abnormal sounding heart. Not all abnormalities can be heard by the doctor with a stethoscope. An EKG will further evaluate a seemingly healthy pet to assist the doctor in making an educated determination as to the overall health of your pet and his/her overall ability to undergo a safe anesthetic procedure.

While most surgery is uneventful, emergencies sometimes arise. Early detection of impending problems greatly aids our ability to intervene and correct the problem. A breathing tube should be placed on all anesthetized animals. This keeps the airway open and allows for supplemental oxygen or gas anesthesia as needed. A heart (EKG) and oxygen monitor allows the surgeon to keep track of heart rate and rhythm as well as the amount of oxygen in the blood. The practice should also have a “crash box” handy which contains emergency drugs and supplies.

Administering intravenous (IV) fluids during surgery is a basic stabilizing therapy that replaces fluid loss and helps the patient process the anesthetic more efficiently and leaves them well hydrated during and after surgery. It also allows access to administer emergency drugs quickly should an unexpected situation arise during a surgical procedure. Having an IV in place before, during and after the procedure saves valuable time in the event such a situation were to arise.

Surgery patients lose body heat during the surgery process. If the patients get too cold the heart can be affected. Patient temperature should be monitored at regular intervals during surgery and supplemental heating provided. Your pet’s gum color, pulse and respiration should also be monitored.

This is very important – surgery hurts! The anesthetic will not provide pain control once the pet wakes up. Oral pain control medication should be offered.

Aftercare of surgical patients is very important for proper healing. The hospital should provide detailed written discharge instructions for your pet specific to the procedure that was done. A technician and/or doctor should go over this information with you and be available to answer/discuss any and all of your questions.

There are often questions and/or concerns when you get home after surgery. You should expect an open line of communication to your veterinarian/staff to help during this time.

What our Clients are Saying

Since Dr. Lynch's return to practice, my Senior dog's problem of many years has improved tremendously with VOM, Acupuncture/Acupressure and Chinese herbs. Dr. Lynch's ability to assess the symptoms and zero in on an effective treatment was remarkable. I am thrilled to have these alternative veterinary services available in Traverse City.

~ Cindy H.

I would highly recommend Dr. Lynch for treatment. The acupuncture treatments that he has done for my cat, Maxx, have done a world of good. It has made a huge difference and the effects from the treatments have been immediate for Maxx. It is so nice to have this treatment option available.

~ Lori F.

I love everyone at Companion Animal Hospital!!!! Best place to take your pets, hands down! Miss seeing you all...I could have never asked for a better group of people to help with my babies

~ Emily H.

We have been taking our two cats and one dog to Dr. Izo for many years. She is an excellent, caring and down to earth person, who is a remarkable at what she does and the care she provides. The entire staff at CAHTC is great to deal with and they truly have your pet's best interest at heart.

~ Mark H.

Thanks to the entire staff of Companion Animal Hospital for tirelessly working with me to assist my dog with her fear of nail cutting! She is now able to have this procedure without any fears or resistance! Additionally the wellness care and the sincere interest in her from the staff is so nice. Always pleasant and professional the Doctors and staff are above average. I recommend this Animal Hospital to all my friends and co-workers and many now use them with the same satisfaction.

~ Denise B.

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