Top 10 Points To Ponder When Inquiring About Your Dogs Spay Surgery;
Number 1. Have the vet who is performing the spay on your dog do a physical examination while you are present. Come with a list of questions. Like; What does a typical surgery day look like? When will my dog be done? Who will notify me when she is done? Does she stay overnight? If so, Why? Is there anyone here overnight? (I do not recommend this. Transfer your dog to a 24 hour facility). When can I pick her up? What instructions do I go home with? Can you imagine going in for surgery and never meeting your surgeon, OR, having never met them and they never examined you? That’s plain neglectful.
Number 2. Pre-operative blood work done to check basic organ function. Preferably a CBC and mini panel chemistry to include basic kidney, liver, blood glucose, and proteins. For older dogs a full chemistry, electrolytes and clotting function are considered minimum data base.
Number 3. Your pet should be free of internal and external parasites. Having fleas walk through the surgery site is not maintaining an acceptable sterile field.
Number 4. Every spay should be intubated and maintained on inhalant general anesthesia. The best way to maintain an open airway is to have one. The best way to maintain an acceptable anesthetic plane is to use gas.
Number 5. Intravenous fluids via an indwelling intravenous catheter should be provided for all abdominal or extensive surgeries. Most veterinarians are inducing anesthesia via an iv dose of an anesthetic why not do this via a catheter to insure a smooth delivery and why not provide fluid support to help maintain blood pressure and have immediate access if and when needed? Most vets place a iv catheter for every euthanasia, but we aren’t doing it for a spay? That seems silly.
Number 6. Every spay gets and goes home with analgesics. A 24 hour dose of an NSAID is given pre-operatively and oral doses go home for the next 4 days. These days many NSAID’s are available as a generic. The excuse of managing costs doesn’t hold up for analgesics and quality of care. Your dog will thank you.
Number 7. Suture material. The glue that holds the tissue together and keeps your pet from bleeding internally or opening up their incision. You get what you pay for in this department and no one ever asks what this vital material is. There is still debate in the veterinary field about what is and is not considered acceptable standard of care. For many experienced vets I will not argue that using what works for you is fine, but, the rules of engagement are shifting and clients have the right to know what we use and why we use it. If a surgery fails they also have the right to their pets records and challenge us on our choices.
Number 8. An e-collar or medical pet shirt. In the off chance your dog realizes at 11 pm that something happened to her belly while she took her midday nap you want to have a barrier between the fresh sutures and an inquisitive tongue.
Number 9. Follow Up. Problems, although we do everything to avoid them, happen. Having a vet you can reach out to, ask questions of, and help hold your hand through any obstacle is worth gold. On all discharge items there should be instructions for you in case you need help. Don’t leave with your pet without knowing what to do, or who to call, in case there is an emergency.
Number 10. An advocate for every next step in life. There maybe many to follow that first surgery, your dogs spay, have a good idea of who you trust, what they are about, and what that road might look like. Take a good solid first step. It makes the rest to follow easier.
Spaying your dog will help reduce unwanted litters and pet over population. It also protects your dog from uterine infections (pyometras), reduces the risk of mammary cancer, and prevents heat cycles.
Please talk to your vet about when it is time to spay your dog (typically about 6 months old) and why your pet might benefit from spaying.
And, as always, come visit us anytime at Pawbly.com for free answers to all of you pet related questions.