Oct 29 2014

Surgical Standards: New Research

We get a lot of calls asking about our surgeries, especially spay/neuter procedures.  Many people are surprised that we do so many other things for the surgery than just the surgery itself.  Our package includes pre-anesthetic labwork, pain medications before and after surgery, pain medications to go home on, intravenous fluids during surgery, monitoring during surgery, and the surgery itself.  We perform these procedures in order to provide best medicine for your dog or cat.  Most of these procedures are self-explanatory in how they benefit your animal (surgery – benefit, pain meds – benefit, surgical monitoring – benefit, labwork to screen for potential problems before surgery – benefit), but how do fluids help your animal during surgery?  After all, it is only under anesthesia for 20-30 minutes, right?  What do fluids in the vein do anyway?

Fluids help surgery by assisting the body in keeping the blood vessels full.  Anesthesia can cause severe decrease in blood pressure throughout surgery.  This drop in blood pressure can cause cells in areas that depend on good blood pressure/flow to suffer.  The kidneys are particularly dependent on good blood flow during surgery.  Since blood is composed of more fluid than cells, the fluids we give act like gatorade to the blood vessels – keeping the cells around the vessels full of oxygen and nutrients.  Think of it as extra hydration.  It has long been known that fluids are good, but quite frankly it is good to question medical standards.  Turns out that fluids during surgery, even short surgeries, benefit the patient by providing good circulatory support.  Below is some research that confirms why we do what we do with fluids as a part of our surgical standards.

http://www.aahanet.org/blog/NewStat/post/2014/10/16/335128/Penn-Vet-studies-effects-of-IV-fluid-on-circulation-during-surgery.aspx

We know there are a lot of fish in the sea when it comes to spay/neuter surgeries.  We make these our standards of care because we believe this is the safest way to approach an elective procedure.  Before you trust your animal to any surgeon, we recommend you ask their standards of care, and make sure that fluids are on the list.

- Doc Cleland

muller01 | College Park Vet Blog

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