Once the surgery is complete the drapes are removed. At this time we do the minor checks and procedures that may need to be done. We generally take advantage of the general anesthetic and do a good nail trim. We also check all dogs for any signs of hip laxity that might indicate dysplasia problems. Most pets have a microchip implanted at this time as well.
Once all these things are complete the anesthetic is turned off and the patient breathes pure oxygen. The isoflurane is exhaled, and the pet gradually wakes up from the anesthesia. Within about 10 minutes they are usually awake enough to have the endotracheal tube removed. Once they are able to sit up and are in control of their legs, they are moved to a recovery area, and then into a house with plenty of blankets and extra heating bags to keep them warm.
In the afternoon before the pet is discharged he or she will be given a final injection of pain medication if needed, which generally keeps them comfortable through the evening. We send pain medication home with the pets after most surgeries. Our aim is to have our patients as pain-free as possible.