Where possible, every patient undergoing anaesthesia has a pre-operative assessment performed prior to the day of any anaesthetic being scheduled. This is to ensure we can fully evaluate your pet through collating any relevant history with a full physical examination.
Scheduling the assessment in advance allows us to fully discuss the procedure(s) to be carried out with you at a time which is often less stressful, unlike the day of the operation; ensuring you have time to both understand the nature of the procedure and evaluate any associated risks and/or complications that could arise. It also allows us time if required to undertake any necessary pre-anaesthetic testing and/or treatments (see below).
Our pre-operative assessments last for up to 4 weeks; thereafter we normally recommend a repeat assessment to ensure nothing has changed with your pet.
In addition to the above, all patients, once admitted into our care, are re-examined, on the day of their procedure, prior to any anaesthesia being commenced.
During the pre-operative assessment, as a result of any information you have given us about the health of your pet; any abnormalities we may find during your pet’s physical examination; or the age of your pet, we will discuss the need for any pre-operative testing. This may include:
- Pre-Anaesthetic Blood (PAB) Screening
- Lungworm Testing
- Coagulation and Bleeding Disorder Testing
We are all human and appreciate mistakes can happen. Therefore, we have modelled our anaesthetic forms on the safety checklists first used in the aviation industry to increase airplane safety and, more recently, by the World Health Organisation when they published their Surgical Safety Checklist.
These checklists require both surgeon and nurse participation and collaboration to ensure checks such as patient and procedure verification is carried out prior to anaesthesia; pre-operative assessments have been completed; pre-operative testing has been reviewed and drug doses have been calculated correctly.
All our anaesthetics are monitored by a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) or Student Veterinary Nurse (under the direct supervision of a vet or RVN). We, unlike some other practices, never use lay members of the team to monitor your pet’s anaesthesia.
Although our veterinary nurses are the most important piece of anaesthetic monitoring equipment, we have, additionally invested in sophisticated anaesthetic equipment for all our branches. This means that we monitor ALL anaesthetics* with the following equipment:
- Pulse Oximetry
- Blood Pressure Monitors
- Temperature Probes
- Oesophageal Stethoscopes
This range of equipment allows us to monitor the vital parameters of your pet’s anaesthesia to ensure we offer the safest anaesthesia we can.
Furthermore, through our collaboration with Vets Now LTD we are able to offer blood gas analysis for your pet 24-7. This is extremely important when performing long or high-risk anaesthesia.
*Short anaesthetics e.g. a cat castrate which is usually less than 10-15 minutes will use a range of this equipment but usually not all.