Sending your dog off to surgery is a serious ordeal. Of course the severity of the situation depends upon his condition and whether or not the reason for surgery, or even the surgery itself, may be a risk to the dog’s life.
In order to be properly prepared, you must understand that your dog’s operation may not be a simple process. Expect the unexpected in terms of both operational procedures and the costs associated with the process.
Planning For The Unplanned
How exactly can someone “plan for the unplanned”? You can’t, really. But you can certainly be educated about the possibilities that your dog may face during this operation. In addition to many complications that could go wrong, which thereby increases risk, length of hospitalization stay, and the total cost for the procedure, numerous other scenarios may come into play.
Suppose that your dog’s surgery has been scheduled for the following day. Your next set of questions should revolve around food and water for your pet. Can you feed your dog his normal food? If not, then what should he eat? Should the dog abstain from eating altogether?
Most veterinarians prefer to withhold food and water for up to 12 hours before the operation, so be sure to receive specific instructions. If there is any food present inside your dog’s stomach just prior to his operation, the general anesthetic given may cause your dog to become sick.
You should also mention to the veterinarian (specifically the person who is going to perform the surgery on your dog) of any medications that your dog may be taking, such as tranquilizers or heart medications. This information is vital in order for the doctor to determine the proper dose of anesthetic to administer the animal.
Besides basic anesthetics, your dog may be given a short acting anesthetic (for minor operations), a long-acting anesthetic, or a gas. Each type has its own advantages as well as drawbacks.
The surgeon will choose the appropriate type depending on several factors related to your dog. These factors may include the age of your dog, his general condition and how long the procedure will take. Some veterinarians charge a separate fee for each anesthesia used, while others may just charge a “base fee” for any anesthesia that may be needed, regardless of the amount.
If your dog must have the anesthetic injected, it is typically given in the large vein located in your dog’s forearm. Sometimes minor accidents may occur with the needle whenever a dog flinches or jerks suddenly from the injection. If this happens, a small amount of anesthesia may be injected into the tissue surrounding vein. Swelling will probably occur but the outcome should only be minor irritation to your dog once the surgery is over.