What Happens When Your Pet Stays at the Vet

dental-3Welcome to Tales & Tails with Dr. Andrea Ferrell (and Jiggy).

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful start to 2015. Thanks to your support, we at Perimeter Veterinary Center enjoyed an exciting and successful 2014 and we can’t wait to see what 2015 brings.

As we continue growing and getting busier, we have more and more patients staying the day with us for procedures. We always explain to clients all the details of your pet’s procedure, but do you ever wonder just what your pet’s day entails, from drop-off to pick up? I’m going to enlist the help of Jiggy in this blog because being a veterinarian’s dog, she’s well versed in all things pet care related. So here we go: a dental day at Perimeter Veterinary Center with Jiggy.

Jiggy: Hi humans! Mom (most of you call her Dr. Ferrell) is letting me play on this keyboard thing this week. She wants me to tell you what my day is like when I get my teeth all scrubbed up and shiny. Don’t worry–she’ll check my grammar and typos before publishing because my paws tend to push more than one of these buttons at a time.
My mom and aunt Tabatha treat all the other dogs and cats that visit our clinic just like they treat me (which honestly, makes me a little jealous), so I can tell you just what happens when they’re here. The first thing they have me do when I get here is hop up on that weird platform in the lobby. The little window lights up with some numbers and Mom is either really happy, or for some reason cuts down my treats for a while.

Dr. Ferrell jumping in to explain: We weigh every patient when they come into the clinic, so we can monitor trends in gain or loss. We also want to make sure every drug and medication dose is calculated exactly right for your pet’s weight. And yes, if Jiggy’s weight has crept up a bit, we have to work on more exercise and less treats, much to her chagrin.

Jiggy: After that, I head to the big sunny room in back where I have my very own roomy kennel full of blankets and a bed to curl up in. After a while Mom comes to get me and I go up on the big table. The table isn’t quite as fun as the kennel because it always means I’m getting poked and prodded a bit, but it’s worth it to have everyone scratching me and talking to me nice. Mom looks me all over from head to bottom (that thing they call a thermometer is a little intrusive!) and then I feel a tiny poke and they put some red stuff in tubes that then go in a funny machine.

Dr. Ferrell: Every pet gets a full examination prior to any anesthetic procedure. If your pet hasn’t recently had blood work checked, we’ll draw blood and run a profile right in our clinic’s lab to ensure there are no problems anticipated with any anesthesia or medications your pet is going to receive. We check the levels of red blood cells (which can show when anemia is present), white blood cells (which elevate with infection and inflammation), and platelets (which are imperative for proper clotting). We also look at enzymes, electrolytes and other substances which tell us how your pet’s organs are functioning and ensure they’ll metabolize the anesthesia in a healthy manner. And you can view all your pet’s lab results on their Petly account!
Jiggy: After Mom looks at the papers that come out of that blood machine, I get a quick shot (it barely pinches at all) and after a while I start to get kind of sleepy. Then Mom and Leslie put a funny tiny tube in my arm and liquid goes through it. It doesn’t hurt a bit since I’m getting sleepy and having a warm hug at the same time. Then they hook me up to some cords that go to a machine with lots of lights and beeping noises. By then I’m falling fast asleep snuggled up on a warm pad and lots of blankets and starting to dream about what’s for dinner.

Dr. Ferrell: Every pet undergoing an anesthetic procedure in our clinic has an intravenous catheter placed for fluid administration. This allows us to maintain proper hydration and blood pressure. It also allows us immediate access should medication need to be administered during your pet’s procedure. All pets’ vital signs are also monitored during every minute of anesthesia: blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen level, temperature, and an electrocardiogram. And yes, the monitoring machine has many lights and beeps to alert us of every tiny change in your pet’s vitals.

Jiggy: When I wake up, Mom, Tabatha, or Leslie is always sitting with me and I’m still snuggled in warm blankets. I have a funny tube in my throat but it doesn’t hurt at all. It just feels a little funny when they take it out after I wake up. When I wake up, I always notice my mouth tastes so nice and fresh! And no one seems to mind my kisses as much then either. I’m usually a little tired the rest of the day but since I get to nap in my nice warm bed, it’s okay. By the time Mom loads me into the car to go home, I feel just like my normal self!

Dr. Ferrell: At Perimeter, all pets in our clinic, awake or asleep, are in direct view of a doctor or technician at all times. We stay with them while they’re waking up from anesthesia so they’re not confused or scared and they get tons of TLC, because that’s exactly what we would want for our own pets! I hope Jiggy was able to give you some insight into your pets’ visits. Any time you have questions about drops-offs or surgeries, we’re always happy to explain everything in detail and give you a full tour of the clinic and the place your pet will be staying.


Reprint from Feb 2014

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