AMS Veterinary Anaesthetic Care Program
We recommend you read this section if your pet is coming into our hospital for treatment &/or surgery in the near future. We hope that the following information will be helpful in making this day as straightforward and stress free as possible.
You will be asked on the morning of admittance to the hospital whether you have any concerns in relation to your pet’s health. Specifically we will ask the questions below. If unsure about the answer or the answer is ‘yes’, please discuss this with the vet prior to admitting your pet into hospital.
- • Has there been any increase in thirst or urination recently?
- • Have there been any signs of ill health (e.g. diarrhoea, vomiting)?
- • Are there any known heart conditions or epilepsy?
It is very important that any animal being admitted for tests or procedures for the day be starved of food from 9pm the night before. Water should be removed first thing in the morning of the stay, not the night before. Be sure to inform the nurse or vet if this has not been done.
Pre-anaesthetic Blood Testing
As part of our commitment to high quality veterinary medicine we offer all animals undergoing sedations and general anaesthetics a pre-anaesthetic blood test. This is a simple process where we take a small sample of blood and measure:
- • Liver and kidney levels
- • Blood sugar
- • Electrolytes (potassium, sodium, etc)
- • Red blood cell level (to check for anaemia).
The tests are run in-house and results are usually available within 30mins of sampling.
Blood sampling allows us to identify any problems that are impossible to detect on a physical exam. Kidney disease, diabetes, and liver disease in particular can be extremely difficult if to identify in their early or mild stages. We have had several instances of animals having significant health issues that we have been able to treat, through early detection via blood health monitoring. In addition, if mild abnormalities are present, this may help us in deciding the safest anaesthetic/sedative drugs.
All animals over the age of 7yrs old should have this performed where possible. Animals under the age of 7yrs old are recommended to be tested, but the decision is left at owner’s discretion. Although these tests cannot guarantee the absence of complications, it can significantly minimise the risk to your pet and provide you and us with peace of mind.
Intravenous Fluid Therapy
Intravenous (IV) fluids are beneficial for all animals undergoing general anaesthetics, irrespective of age or procedure. Most human anaesthetics are carried out with IV fluids.
In animals, due to added cost, in the past intravenous fluids have only been used on more complex and risky anaesthetics, however, in recent years the benefit of IV fluids for all anaesthetics has been recognised.
IV fluids offer several advantages:
- • A catheter is placed into a vein during the procedure which means we have immediate access to the veins in the case of an emergency during the procedure.
- • Blood pressure is better maintained when on IV fluids during a general anaesthetic which increases safety.
- • Animals on IV fluids generally wake up quicker and suffer less from after effects of anaesthetics.
- • If complications such as bleeding occur during surgery, we can maintain blood pressure more effectively if IV fluids are provided.
This includes the cost of the IV catheter, the fluids lines and fluids bags, and computers which supply the fluids at a very specific and accurate rate before, during and after the anaesthetic.
Home Care Pain Relief
All animals at AMS are provided with at least 24hrs of pain relief after any surgical procedure. For most animals this is sufficient, however, should you wish to take additional pain relief for the immediate few days after surgery then feel free to discuss this with the vet either when dropping off or picking up your pet.
If you need any further information then you are welcome to call the hospital or ask us on the day of your appointment. We look forward to seeing you then.