6 Lakeshore Drive, North Bay. ON P1A 2A2 705 223 3404

Why Spay or Neuter at Parkside Animal Hospital?

1. The day starts for your pet with greeting our friendly staff. At this time we ask questions to ensure nothing has changed with your pet’s health status. Take the time to answer any questions you may have and ensure that both you and your pet are prepared for surgery.
2. While this happens, your veterinarian is reviewing your pet’s medical history and choosing a patient specific, custom anesthetic drug plan. Each pet is different and we feel individualized treatment is worth the extra time to not just ensure safety, but also to choose a protocol that is optimal. This is also breed specific-many breeds have drug sensitivities that routine protocols do not account for. We make it our priority to take all of your pet’s individual needs into account.
3. Your pet will then be escorted to the hospital area-Cats go immediately to the cat only kennel room (we keep it quiet and warm-the cats appreciate it!). Dogs stay either in one of our runs (with in-floor heating and glass doors) or into the comfort room, to lay on the couch to await their turn- for those that are not kennel trained or are prone to anxiety. Our hospital was very specifically designed so that all pets in hospital can be seen from the treatment area at all times- no one has to feel alone, and no one is left unattended.
4. The next step is to have a full physical examination by your pet’s surgeon. If anything unexpected is note at this time you will be contacted immediately to discuss it and a plan will be formulated to deal with whatever was found.
5. Bloodwork is next on the list (this is the time for extra love via hugs and pets- most of our patients love attention so much they barely notice a tiny needle). At Parkside Animal Hospital we have our own in house blood machines, so for pre anesthetic bloodwork we have results in approx. 12 minutes. These tests look at many things including:

a) Your pet’s liver and kidney values (these are the organs that are responsible for getting rid of anesthetic and it is important that we be aware if they are not functioning up to snuff).

b) We also look at Red Blood Cells (they carry oxygen around the body) and White Blood Cells (they fight bacteria, viruses, and parasites) and Platelets (they are responsible for making sure your pet can stop bleeding). If something is wrong with one of these cell types, we need to know before surgery!

If anything abnormal is found on bloodwork, your veterinarian will call you immediately so that together we can decide what the next steps to take are.
6. At this time, anesthetic protocols are also reviewed to ensure we still feel the drugs we have chosen are optimal. Your pet then receives an injection which most often contains a sedative and a painkiller- this is to ensure they feel comfortable with the rest of the steps prior to surgery.
7. The next step is to place an intravenous catheter- most often this is done in a front leg vein. We feel it is very, very important to have access to your pet’s blood supply at all times during surgery- this gives us immediate access for emergency medications and also means we do not have to give your pet any other needles (everything can go pain free into their catheter)
8. Next your pet gets hooked up to IV fluids (via their IV catheter) - all surgery patients at Parkside Animal Hospital receive IV fluids before, during and after their procedure. Research shows this is a great way to increase safety during surgery by improving blood pressure (most anesthetic drugs drop blood pressure). This means oxygen gets around their system better. It also helps the kidneys and liver to flush out the drugs which your pet is given during surgery so that they recover faster and better. Our IV fluids are also given by an IV pump which means your pet gets exactly the volume of fluids calculated for them!
9. Pre-oxygenation- At this point your pet is ready for anesthesia! Before we give the drugs to send your pet into dream world (Mouse chasing for cats and cat chasing for dogs), we give them oxygen via face mask to make sure their Red Blood Cells are fully saturated and ready to support all body systems through the process of induction.
10. Finally ready! - Drugs are given (via IV catheter), your pet is fully asleep! They are then intubated (to make sure we have control over their breathing at all times) and they begin to breathe in the anesthetic gas. Our anesthetic equipment is second to none- we have oxygen available in all areas of the hospital- patients can simply be wheeled from room to room with little disruption to anesthesia. We also have an “active scavenge system” to pull out breathed out toxins, carbon dioxide, and gases away from your pet during surgery.
11. Keeping your pet warm- one of the most dangerous parts of anesthesia for pets is dropping their core body temperature. Because animals (for the most part) are so small, they lose body heat fast. Anesthetic drugs cause the body to lose control over thermoregulation. This means it is up to your pet’s team to keep them warm. At Parkside this is not left for chance- we have an amazing unit called a “bear hugger” that surrounds your pet’s body with warm air during induction, surgery, and recovery. The warm air method is ideal because it does not allow for the possibility of skin burns like hot water bottles or heating mats do. We also have a “Fluid Warmer” that brings their IV fluids up to body temperature while they are getting fluids through their IV catheter (who wants cold fluids running into their arm??). Or Runs also have heated flooring for optimal recovery.
12. Surgery itself- no matter what procedure your pet is having- you can guarantee at Parkside that everything is chosen with their specific needs in mind. Everything from sizes of instruments, to thickness of suture material is taken into account. Our surgical suite is self-contained and is considered a “positive pressure room”- which means air flows out of it but not in- so that it is easily the cleanest room in the hospital and when the door opens for your pet to go in, dirt does not enter with them.
13. After your pet’s surgical procedure, they are slowly woken up (we continue with oxygen and stop the anesthetic gas through their tube), in a quiet, warm, soothing environment. We are very proud to say that we have a one to one ratio- that means that every pet has at least one person dedicated to their care (either a veterinarian or RVT) at all times.
14. Communication!!- As soon as your pet’s out of surgery, we will be on the phone to let you know they are doing well! Often we can manage to send a photo via cell phone or email so you can see their progress!
15. Home Time!! At Parkside, it is up to our owners to decide whether or not they are comfortable caring for their pet at home on the first night after surgery or not. Pets need to be kept completely quiet so that their incisions heal properly- some owners are confident that they can manage this at home (and many pets prefer to be at home), others prefer that they stay in hospital overnight. This is usually discussed at out last visit before surgery, or on the day of surgery.
16. When you come to pick up your pet, one of our team members will go over all of their medications (pain management is a definite- chosen specifically for your pet, other medications depend on the procedure), instructions (feeding, exercise, incision care, etc.)
17. There will be someone available to you 24/7 in case of any post-operative questions or concerns (although our veterinarians are normal people and do need to sleep, we do NOT mind getting a call in the middle of the night if a pet’s health is at risk).
18. At Parkside our protocols have been developed with one thing in mind: Our own pets! How would we want their big day to go?

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