Pets are admitted to the hospital in the morning, usually as soon as we can get them here after we open. This allows us to complete our anesthetic procedures in the morning and allow our patients to recover adequately before being sent home later in the day.
Pets are first weighed, then given a pre-anesthetic injection consisting of a mild tranquilizer and a pain medication. We can greatly reduce the amount of discomfort felt after surgery by giving pain medications before we start. This is called pre-emptive analgesia and is done with all surgeries at our hospital.
Once the pre-anesthetic drugs have taken effect, an intravenous catheter is placed in the front leg. We clip the hair over the vein so that it is easier to see, and to keep the area clean.
When the catheter is in we begin IV fluids, which help to maintain blood pressure and hydration during surgery. The IV line also gives us rapid access to deliver medications in case of emergency. An intravenous catheter and fluids are, in my opinion, critical to a safe anesthetic experience.