Our doctors regard anesthesia and surgery as important events for each pet and their owners. Our hospital protocols for patients undergoing general anesthesia include a full physical examination, pre-anesthetic blood testing, intravenous catheter placement with iv fluid support, and sophisticated monitoring of blood pressure, core body temperature, respiratory and cardiac function. Anesthetic agents selected by our doctors are based on individual patient requirements and include the use of multi-modal pre-and-post operative pain management. Surgeries are performed in our modern surgical suite under sterile conditions.
Examples of some of the types of surgical procedures our facility performs include:
Low Fee Spay & Neuter
Soft Tissue Surgery:
Entropion Eyelid Tack Surgery
Third Eyelid Gland Prolapse (Cherry Eye) Surgery
Eye Enucleation (Removal) Surgery
Lateral Ear Canal Resection
Stenotic Nares (Nostril) Surgery
Inguinal (Groin) Hernia Surgery
Perineal Hernia Surgery
Cystotomy (Bladder Stone) Surgery
Perineal Urethrostomy Surgery
Foreign Body (Stomach / Intestinal) Surgery
Pyometra (Uterine Infection) Surgery
Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO) Hip Surgery
Medial Patellar Luxation (MPL/"Trick Knee") Surgery
Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture (ACL) Surgery
Digit (Toe) Amputation
Limb (Leg) Amputation
Specialty Referral Care:
There are also specific surgical issues which exceed the ability of our hospital to treat in a medically appropriate manner consistent with our practice mission and philosophies - such as complex orthopedic surgeries and complicated bone fractures. In these instances clients interested in advanced care options will be offered a referral to the Board Certified Veterinary Surgical Specialists at one of the three facilities for The Veterinary Specialty Hospital of The Carolinas (VSH) in North Raleigh / Durham / Cary.
Client Guide To Surgical Estimates
Comparisons of Estimates for Surgical Procedures:
Please take a moment to review the information included below it just may end up saving you money, sparing you frustration and avoiding unnecessary discomfort for your pet:
In the current economy, "High Quality Veterinary Care At Low Prices" or some variation is a common theme at many veterinary businesses today. The problem with this slogan is because 'high quality' isn't really defined in the Veterinary Profession it really doesn't mean much unless you, the consumer, understand what's going on "behind the curtain".
Because low cost promotional pricing is designed to get you in the door, often times it isn't until the pet owner arrives for their pet's scheduled surgical procedure that they are made aware of all of the things the low price quote doesn't cover such as blood profile testing of organ function, IV Catheters and Fluids, or even modern pain relief. In these types of situations, it is at this time the veterinary staff usually covers all of the 'highly recommended' add-ons for your pet's health, safety and comfort available to you as significant "up-charges". This ultimately results in the pet owner feeling as though they've been the target of Bait-and-Switch and taken for a ride.
Or, worse yet, in order to keep the low cost price quote, these other basic aspects of modern veterinary care aren't even discussed with the pet owner. This leaves you, the pet owner, to fall back on the belief that all aspects of these basic services and procedures are the same from one practice to the next -- which leads to your assumption your pet has received "high quality" care at low cost. Sometimes it couldn't be further from the truth.
In our practice, we list our preventative medical care and elective surgery procedure fees AND we put the details of what's going on "behind the curtain" down in writing out front. What you see is what your pet receives at our practice - No games, no gimmicks, no bait-and-switch care sold to you as "high quality at an affordable price".
All anesthetic procedure patients receive a physical examination to evaluate them prior to their procedure. We assess their vital signs such as body temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate, as well as many other factors which can influence our decisions on which types of pain relief, sedation and anesthetics we choose - or, in some instances, whether to postpone the procedure.
Pre-Anesthetic Blood Testing:
Prior to the use of anesthetics, your pet will have a blood sample drawn and processed by our in-house laboratory equipment. Because many anesthetic agents are metabolized and eliminated via the internal organs it is important to assess any changes from normal function which can affect how patients respond to anesthetics. These tests can alert us to organ disease, such as kidney or liver abnormalities, which are not always obvious as part of our pre-surgical physical exam. When abnormal test values are found, we may either modify our anesthetic protocols, by changing anesthetic drug choices, doses or fluid therapy, to address underlying issues or we may postpone procedures until we are better able to understand the root cause of the problem.
Intravenous Catheter and Fluid Support:
As part of our standard anesthetic protocol, an intravenous catheter (IV) will be placed in a vein in your pet's leg. This catheter allows us to maintain a route of instant access to your pet's cardiovascular system for delivery of important drugs in the event an unexpected problem develops during anesthesia. In addition, your pet will receive IV fluids delivered through this catheter during and after surgery. The administration of IV fluids assists in maintaining stable blood pressure and proper blood flow to their internal organs.
Anesthetic Administration and Monitoring:
Carolina Animal Hospital is serious about anesthesia. At our hospital only individuals who have completed formal educational training programs in veterinary technology and have passed stringent licensing examinations given by the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board are employed as "Technicians".
Only a Veterinarian or a Registered Veterinary Technician, under the supervision of a Veterinarian, will ever administer anesthetics to our patients.
While under anesthesia our patients are observed by our trained staff and by sophisticated equipment which monitors blood pressure (NIBP), heart rhythm (ECG), core body temperature and oxygen levels (SPO2) in the blood stream.
Pain Management Protocol:
We are also serious about pain control in our patients. Our most basic surgical and dental procedures call for the use of two forms of pain management drugs. We administer an injectable narcotic medication prior to actual anesthesia. This 'pre-med' serves two important purposes; it creates a 'warm and fuzzy' sedation which allows us to use significant less injectable anesthetic drugs to produce the desired anesthetic effect, and it helps to preempt pain responses before they even begin - which means less discomfort should be produced overall. The narcotic injection lasts for approximately six to eight hours. We also administer a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug which helps address mild to moderate discomfort, similar to high dose over the counter pain medications for humans. This drug begins to take effect shortly after administration and generally hits peak effective levels before the narcotic injection wears off. Almost all of our surgical and anesthetic patient receive additional NSAID medications for home use for several days after the procedure. We also dispense additional narcotic pain relief medications when we anticipate the level of discomfort may require more than lower level pain relief.
Amber McHugh, DVM
Colin McHugh, DVM