4818 42 Ave (PO Box 509)

Mayerthorpe, Alberta ABT0E1N0 Canada


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Surgical Information for Small Animals

Pre-Operative Information:

When you check your pet in for any type of general anesthetic procedure you will be required to sign a consent form. During the admission process our staff will review the procedure being performed and the risks associated with general anesthesia. You will also be asked to choose or decline intravenous fluids and pre-anesthetic bloodwork. We know this can be a scary and stressful time for you, especially when a lot of information is being given. That's why we are happy to explain the benefits of these below, so you can read and consider your options prior to the day of your pet's surgery. Keep in mind that in some situations IV fluids and/or bloodwork are mandatory. Also, should you opt out of one or both of these, should a situation arise where the veterinarian deems it necessary they will be performed regardless of your initial decision. 

Intravenous (IV) Fluids

All pets undergoing general anesthesia and surgical procedures are offered intravenous fluids. Please note that on the surgical consent form you will be required to check either “yes” or “no” to IV fluids. Should the veterinarian deem IV fluids necessary at any point during your pet’s procedure or hospital stay it will be performed, regardless of your selection on the consent form.

IV fluids are mandatory for:

  • -All patients over the age of 7
  • -All pets undergoing orthopedic procedures, including TPLO surgery and fracture repair
  • -All pets undergoing urinary procedures, including cystotomy to remove bladder stones and urethral unblocking.
  • -All patients undergoing dental procedures, including prophylactic cleanings.
  • -Any case where the veterinarian deems IV fluids necessary based on your pet’s condition and the procedure they are having.

What do IV fluids do?

  • -Maintain Blood Pressure
    • IV fluids help maintain adequate blood pressure, which ensures that all organs receive enough blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients to function properly. The drugs used to sedate and then keep your pet in an unconscious state relax the body and can cause a drop in blood pressure. Giving intravenous fluids helps counteract this and maintain a healthy and adequate blood pressure. We require IV fluids for procedures that tend to be quite lengthy, such as TPLO’s and dentals, because the longer the patient is under anesthetic the lower the blood pressure tends to go.
  • -Counteract Blood Loss
    • IV fluids also help replace blood loss and the subsequent drop in blood pressure that occurs as a result. No matter how routine the surgery is, or how skilled the surgeon might be, blood loss is a possibility in most surgical procedures. There are certain surgeries where blood loss is a predicted issue and the veterinarian may require fluids. A perfect example of when IV fluids is advisable but not required, would be mature, in-heat, or pregnant dog spays. In these animals the uterus and uterine vessels are larger and the surgery generally takes longer than if they were young dogs with an immature uterus.
  • -Maintain Hydration
    • Fluids ensure that your pet stays hydrated during their hospital stay as well as address any dehydration that might result from pre-surgical fasting. IV fluids are generally placed once your pet is sedated and relaxed but prior to the start of the surgery, and left in place until time of discharge.
  • -Provides fast and easy administration of drugs in the event of an emergency
    • We pride ourselves on providing quality care to all animals, closely monitoring them during surgery to ensure their safety. However, there are always associated risks and the possibility for an animal to have unforeseen or unpredictable reaction to the medications and drugs administered. In the event of an emergency, the seconds and minutes it can take to establish IV access can be the difference between a positive and negative outcome. If IV fluids are already running, we are able to administer potentially live saving medication to your pet without delay.  

What do IV fluids cost?

  • Please phone the clinic for pricing info. 

Pre-Anesthetic Bloodwork

We offer pre-anesthetic bloodwork prior to any general anesthetic or surgical procedure. In some instances, such as orthopaedic procedures or extensive dentals on geriatric patients, the veterinarian may require bloodwork to be performed. For all other patients it is optional. Please note that on the surgical consent form you will be required to check either “yes” or “no” to pre-anesthetic bloodwork. Should the veterinarian deem bloodwork necessary for your pet before, during, or after the procedure, it will be performed regardless of your selection on the consent form.

What does it test for?

Routine pre-anesthetic bloodwork has two components. The first is a Complete Blood Count (CBC). This shows us the levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This allows us to evaluate for underlying chronic diseases, bone marrow issues, internal bleeding, infection, dehydration, and potential blood clotting issues to name just a few.

The second component is called a Chemistry Panel. This helps us assess organ function (specifically liver and kidneys), blood sugar, protein levels, and electrolyte balance. Because organ dysfunction does not tend to cause noticeable symptoms until the disease is fairly advanced, issues may go unnoticed or undiagnosed without bloodwork. It is particularly important to ensure the liver and kidneys are functioning well prior to administering any sedative or anesthetic drugs because these organs play a major role in how the body metabolizes and reacts to the drugs. By knowing ahead of time how the organs are functioning, we can establish a drug protocol and treatment plan that minimizes the risk to your pet, helping ensure a positive outcome for everyone involved.

If you’re unsure of whether or not to have pre-anesthetic bloodwork performed, we encourage a “better safe than sorry” approach. It is not harmful for your pet to have bloodwork performed - a simple need poke just like you have when the doctor performs bloodwork on you!

Is it really necessary?

Even for young puppies and kittens, pre-anesthetic bloodwork prior to routine surgeries such as spays and neuters can be beneficial. Abnormalities on their lab work can help the veterinarian spot early signs of disease that might otherwise be missed, and can help them better predict how anesthesia may affect your pet. By doing these tests prior to surgery it gives the veterinarian the chance to potentially alter the sedation and anesthetic drug protocol to something that may be more effective or safer for your pet’s particular health needs. Every drug has potential side effects and we want the very best outcome for you and your pet. 

What does it cost?

Please phone the clinic for pricing info. 

Post-Operative Information:

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