Surgical and Anesthesia Services
Surgical and Anesthesia Services in Sarnia, ON
Surgical and Anesthesia Services
Our Surgical and Anesthesia Services provide benefits that extend beyond the operation itself. We prioritize your pet’s safety using contemporary anesthetic methods suited to their specific needs. Thanks to our modern monitoring technology, we can closely monitor their vital signs, ensuring a smooth and successful procedure.
Surgery and Your Pet
Please review this handout prior to your pet’s procedure/surgery
Your pet will be coming to the Birch Lane Veterinary Clinic for an upcoming surgery! We want to ensure you and your pet are fully prepared and have questions answered before the visit.
There are different types of procedures we anesthetize for; some include:
- Dental Prophylaxis
- Wound Repair
- Lump Removal
Our Doctors may prescribe something for your pet to take home if they feel additional pain medication is necessary to keep them comfortable.
What to Expect
1-2 Weeks Before Surgery
- Ensure all vaccinations are up to date
- Are all necessary diagnostics performed? (Please see ‘While Your Pet is with Us’ below for more information on pre-anesthetic bloodwork)
- Grooming is recommended so that the surgical site can be kept clean and dry for 14 days post-surgery
- Supplements or medications to discontinue: Omega 3 FA, herbal supplements
Day Before Surgery
All patients must be fasted 12 hours before surgery so there is less chance of regurgitation once under anesthetic.
No food after 8:00 pm the night before (i.e., no breakfast); water is okay for your pet to have up until it is time for them to leave the house.
Additional things to prepare the day before:
- Any medications prior to surgery. Ask us if you have any questions about giving medications prior to surgery.
- Preparing a recovery spot
- Washing any necessary bedding
- Removing any toys/bones that are not recommended after surgery
Day of Surgery
Please drop off your pet the morning of their procedure between 8:15-8:30 am. We ask that you ring the doorbell as our phone systems are not on until we fully open at 8:30 am. If your pet has any abnormal symptoms, please inform our RVTs. An RVT will review our general consents with you; these include:
- Emergency contact
- General anesthesia
- Emergency situations
We ask that you be available at your emergency contact number throughout the day if we need to speak with you. If you would like to leave an additional number, please let us know. While we do our best to lower any risk while a patient is under anesthetic, sometimes unforeseen circumstances arise. Please know if we cannot get in touch when an urgent circumstance arises, our Doctors and staff will intervene as they see necessary.
While Your Pet is with Us
Our well trained RVTs are always at your pet’s side. They will monitor them under anesthetic using our surgery monitors and perform manual checks on the patient to ensure your pet’s vitals are normal during surgery. Even with these additional measures, we always recommend bloodwork prior to any surgical procedure. This gives us an internal look at what is happening in your pet’s body. This testing is performed right in our clinic and looks at internal organ function and complete blood cell count. If there are any abnormal values, we can make necessary changes to their surgical plan or the medications we use. If the Doctor feels that surgery would cause further concern to your pet’s health, they will discuss this thoroughly with you prior to any administration of sedation/anesthetic.
Time to Go Home
Once your pet’s procedure is complete, our RVTs will call you to let you know how they are doing (this call will be made to the emergency number on our consent). At this time, they will discuss a pickup/discharge time. This time depends on what time your pet’s procedure took place and how they are handling the anesthetic post-operatively. If your pet needs additional wake-up time, we will schedule a later discharge time. If your pet is doing well and is bright and alert, we will contact you to see if you can pick it up earlier in the day. We do not mind keeping your pet longer if your schedule does not allow you to come sooner; let us know, and we can accommodate a time that works best for you!
Please note: our latest discharge time is 5:00 pm.
Once it is time for your pet to go home, we will send home a detailed take-home instruction sheet. This will review your pet’s procedure, things to watch out for, specific feeding requirements, and instructions for any medications sent home. This will also contain guidelines about an e-collar if your pet requires one (depending on their procedure). Our RVTs will review the take-home instructions and will answer any additional questions you may have.
Post-Operative Home Care
Now that your pet is happy to be home keep a close eye on them and call us if you notice anything abnormal or any symptoms listed on your take-home sheet. You may want to restrict access to stairs and any slippery floors in the house. Ensure the family knows about post-operative care for your pet so everyone is on board! We will be calling the next day to see how your pet is doing and to answer any additional questions you may have.
We strive to ensure your pet is taken care of the way we would want our own taken care of, with extra love, tenderness, and care. We know leaving your pet can be stressful, but please know they are in wonderful hands. If you have any further questions regarding your pet’s visit, please don’t hesitate to call.
Common signs of dental disease include:
- Yellow or brown buildup (tartar) on the teeth
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
- Changes in eating or chewing habits
- Pawing at the face
- Loose teeth
Even if your dog or cat doesn’t have these symptoms, we recommend that you have a veterinarian evaluate your pet’s dental health at least once a year. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to the deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in irreversible periodontal disease, tooth loss, and possibly expensive oral surgery.
When dental prophylaxis’ is performed, our patients are under a full gas anesthetic. We examine the whole inside of the mouth, charting and checking every tooth to see if anything is concerning. Our RVTs will scale and polish each tooth above and below the gum line, removing any calculus that may be present. Our RVTs will then take full-mouth dental radiographs for our Veterinarians so we can visualize the roots and the bone surrounding each tooth. From there, if extractions are necessary, we can remove any teeth that are painful, mobile, fractured, or diseased to help your dog feel better.
Dental disease can also affect other organs in the body: Bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream and cause serious infections in the kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart. If these problems aren’t caught and treated quickly enough, they can result in death. A physical exam combined with appropriate laboratory work can determine if the infection in the mouth has spread.
Schedule your pet’s dental exam today! We can also show you how to brush your pet’s teeth and recommend foods and treats that will help combat plaque and tartar buildup.
Spaying your pet has many benefits. The procedure prevents female animals from becoming pregnant and reproducing and 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 protect 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 deciding whether to spay your pet, please contact us to discuss your concerns.
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 behavior, 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.
Please call or visit our clinic to set up an appointment to have your pet neutered or learn more about this procedure. 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
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 lump diagnosis are necessary to improve the outcome in your pet if the mass is cancerous. More in-depth surgeries such as intestinal, abdominal, wound repair, urogenital system, and reproductive procedures (neuter, spay) are some other types of surgeries we will perform.
Please contact us if you’d like to discuss how soft tissue surgery might be able to help your pet.
We perform some types of orthopedic (bone) surgeries in our clinic. Because we want to ensure that our patients receive the best possible outcome, we occasionally refer them to board-certified orthopedic surgeons to perform back surgery and other very complex surgeries.
One of the surgeries we perform is extra-capsular repairs on torn cranial crucial ligaments. The traditional extra-capsular repair technique is the oldest surgical correction for cruciate ligament injury in dogs.
In simplest terms, a loop of a special type of suture material (an artificial ligament) is placed from the back of the knee joint around to the front, where it is anchored just below the knee. This suture material stabilizes the joint and prevents the tibia from slipping back and forth after the cruciate ligament has torn. This procedure typically requires two bone channels (tiny holes) to be drilled, one at the front of the tibia and the other on the outer (lateral) aspect of the femur at the level of the stifle joint so the artificial ligament can be passed through them. We always start with a physical exam to confirm your pet needs this surgery.
Please contact us if you have questions about these procedures or think your pet might benefit.
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 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.
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.