2012-07-27 / Columnists

The Veterinary Corner

If Your Pet Requires Surgery
Commentary By Jay Rogoff And Michael Hess, DVM

There are times when a surgical solution is necessary to treat a health problem. At the Animal Hospital of the Rockaways we use the same protocols for a sterile environment and have the same equipment that you would find in a human hospital’s surgical suite. Our experienced veterinarians perform almost any surgical procedure your pet might need. We offer a full range of elective, emergency, and soft tissue surgeries, including: spay, neuter, orthopedic procedures with a board-certified surgeon, laceration and wound repair, mass removal and abdominal surgery.

If your pet requires surgery, your veterinarian should make sure you understand all aspects of the events to come, and discuss all the choices that are available to you. Because there may be multiple options to a surgical approach, it is important to make sure that you have all the information you need to make a fully informed decision.

It is critical to make sure that the latest veterinary technology is employed for your pet’s surgery. At the Animal Hospital of the Rockaways we make sure that every pet scheduled for surgery has a physical examination on the day of the procedure and pre-anesthetic blood tests and an EKG. We want to make sure that he or she is healthy enough for the procedure.

We place an intravenous catheter to give fluids that help maintain blood pressure. Medication can be administered through the IV during the procedure. During any surgical procedure, your pet will have two veterinarians by his or her side and a board-certified surgeon is available for some special cases.

While under anesthesia, we keep your pet warm and, using the most current technology, continually monitor: heart rate with EKG, oxygen levels, temperature, blood pressure and respiration rate.

Pets can’t tell us when or where it hurts, and they usually don’t cry when they are in pain. At the Animal Hospital of the Rockaways, we know that pets feel pain like we do, but show it in different ways. Our job is to identify and understand conditions that cause pain, recognize the symptoms, and aggressively treat pain. Perhaps your cat was injured in an accident or a fight. You’ve brought your kitten in to be spayed. Your dog is having a tooth extracted. Maybe we have diagnosed your older pet with cancer. All of these events in your pet’s life call for effective pain management.

We want to treat pain proactively because managing pain is much more effective when started early. Pain and suffering interferes with the quality of life that everyone wants his or her pet to have. More than just an unpleasant sensation, pain can also interfere with healing and the immune system. This is why we tailor medication to each animal on a case-bycase basis.

Pain relief protocols are individually tailored for your pet to ensure he or she is as comfortable as possible. Following any procedure or surgery, your pet will be taken to our separate recovery room. We make sure that he or she is comfortable with medication administered before, during, and after the procedure. During recovery when they are staying with us, we give them soft, washable beds to sleep on that are very comfortable and cause less pain.

When we send your pet home with you, we may give you medication to keep your pet comfortable. Often we will keep your pet overnight to monitor him or her. We have night vision cameras installed throughout the hospital so that with the flip of a switch we are able to see your pet no matter what time it is. We also have trained technicians who check on each patient throughout the night.

You can be sure that everyone at the Animal Hospital of the Rockaways takes the extra steps necessary to make sure your pet is well taken care of when surgery is required and that our hospital will be a home away from home for the first steps of recovery.

Please feel free to come and take a tour of our facility at 114-10 Beach Channel Drive or visit our website: www.Animalhosptaloftherockaways.com.

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