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What Happens On the Day of My Pet's Surgery at MCAH?

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

dog and cat lounging on a wood plank outdoors

We understand that leaving a pet for an anesthetic procedure can be worrisome. This article explains the care your pet will receive and when you can expect to hear from us. Thank you for your trust in us; your pet’s health and wellness are our top priority.

What happens before the procedure?

After you drop off, your pet is assigned a technician who will be responsible for their care throughout the day. Next, we will place an intravenous catheter in their front leg to administer medications and fluids to maintain hydration. Blood testing is performed (if it has not been performed recently) to make sure your pet can safely metabolize the anesthesia. Then their tech will provide them a comfy cage to rest in while they wait for their procedure to begin. The surgeon will determine the order for the day’s procedures based on the length of time the patients need to recover afterwards, or the urgency of the procedures themselves.

What happens during the procedure?

· The surgeon performs a pre-anesthetic exam, and administers medications to sedate, protect the heart and prevent pain.

· An endotracheal tube is placed, through which gas anesthetic and oxygen are provided.

· A warming blanket is placed on your pet, to make sure they don't get chilly.

· They are given a continuous flow of fluids to flush the system and maintain hydration and normal blood pressure.

· While the procedure is underway, your pet is watched constantly by their technician using electronic monitors: Vital signs (heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, oxygen level, temperature and exhaled Carbon Dioxide) are observed and recorded every 5 minutes.

Media City Animal Hospital follows the strictest and most current anesthesia protocols. For a complete description of these guidelines, visit

What happens after the procedure?

The surgeon will call you once the procedure is complete to give you an update on your pet while your pet’s technician moves them to their cage and watches them closely as they wake up. They are provided warmers to keep them snug, and they may be provided additional pain medication depending on the nature of their procedure. When you arrive to pick up your pet, a technician will provide you detailed instructions on taking care of your pet during their recovery.

When will I receive updates on my pet?

In short, as often as you like! We typically call our clients after the procedure is complete, or if we need to discuss a change in your pet’s treatment plan. This is why it is very important that you be available by phone during the procedure. However, you are welcome to call us for an update at any time.

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