Lola is a 7 month old, beautiful Cockerpoo. This article illustrates her time with us at the hospital while she was spayed.
Here Lola has been admitted and is getting to know some of the nurses. Alison has just discussed the procedure with Lola’s owner who has signed her operation consent form. In this picture Lola is having a cuddle with second year student veterinary nurse, Tamara. Lola will now be health-checked by a veterinary surgeon before being administered her pre-med. The pre-med will provide some pre-emptive pain relief and sedation to ensure she has a smooth anaesthesia induction and recovery. We always like to get to know our patients, if they have a favourite blanket or toy, feel free to bring this in with them for their stay with us.
Lola is being a very good girl and has happily parked herself on the scales so we can get an accurate weight for her. This is important for us to administer the correct doses of medications and ensure she is given the appropriate amount of intravenous fluids to support her circulatory system throughout her surgery. Not all practices administer intravenous fluids to their patient’s undergoing routine elective surgery. At Orwell vets we are proud to provide the best levels of care to your pets while they are under our care, whether it is for routine surgery or during emergencies; this includes administration of intravenous fluid support to patients undergoing general anaesthesia lasting more than 15 minutes.
Here is Lola relaxing in her kennel after having her pre-med. Our kennels have a dedicated nurse who keeps a close eye on all of our in-patients and is on hand to provide cuddles and reassurance when needed. We have a range of kennel sizes to suit the wide variety of breeds we see each day. We also have an isolation ward for accommodating patients that need to be cared for away from other patients.
This picture shows Lola having her intravenous cannula placed ready for anaesthesia induction by the veterinary surgeon. She has had to have a small patch of fur clipped from her foreleg and the skin is carefully cleaned prior to cannulation. Lola was already quite sleepy following her pre-med and her anaesthesia induction was very smooth. Once asleep, Lola had an endotracheal tube placed in her throat to maintain her airway and provide oxygen and inhalational anaesthesia throughout her surgery.
Here we can see Lola (just!) at the start of her ovariohysterectomy surgery. The blue thing you can see is a warm air blanket. This gently circulates warm air around the patient to help them stay warm while they are undergoing surgery. This device is known as a Bair Hugger and is widely used in human medicine for elderly and very young patients who are more susceptible to heat loss. The monitor in the background is the display for our multi-parameter monitor; this machine measures patient temperature, pulse, ECG, respiration, oxygen saturation, expired carbon dioxide and blood pressure. We always provide close and continual monitoring of all patients undergoing anaesthesia. This allows us to provide a patient-centred approach, responding to the individual requirements of each animal at every step of their treatment
This picture shows Lola’s surgical wound immediately post-surgery. The skin sutures need to be removed in about 10 days. The wound will now be carefully cleaned and covered with a wound dressing. The metal clip at the bottom of the picture is for the ECG.
Here Lola is about to be transferred into our intensive care ward for her anaesthetic recovery period. Lola will have a dedicated recovery nurse with her throughout this time. In the picture she still has her endotracheal tube in place; as soon as she starts to come round from her anaesthetic, this is carefully removed. Lola is reclining on an insulating bean bag which provides warmth and comfort to the patient while supporting the patient in the correct position for their surgical procedure.
Lola is now fully round from her anaesthetic and sitting-up in her kennel back in the dog ward. She is sporting an Elizabethan collar to prevent her interfering with her surgical wound. Lola is tolerating her collar well and has been wagging her tail at the kennel nurse. The kennel nurse will continue to monitor Lola’s recovery, offer her a little food and water and take her outside to toilet. If patients show any signs of discomfort they may be given additional pain relief. Lola will be staying in overnight to be monitored; strict rest is crucial in the immediate post-operative period after spaying and we feel this is best achieved by keeping the patient hospitalised for 1 night. Not all practices offer this service with a dedicated night nurse on-site to care for the patients.
The next morning Lola is well-rested and happy. She has just had her breakfast and been outside for the toilet. We feed hospitalised patients a bland diet of easily digestible food post-anaesthesia, and owners are welcome to take a supply of this home to continue feeding for a few days, this can help to reduce the chances of upset tummies after surgery. Lola will be going home shortly after her owner has had a chat with the nurse about how to care for her over the next 10 days and how to administer her medication. Lola will be back to have her stitches removed in 10 days and invited back to see the nurse for a weight check in about 3 months’ time. Lola, has been a model patient, and we are very grateful to her owner for allowing us to write this article about her and photograph her.