Confirming and Communication

  • We will generally confirm your pet’s procedure appointment by email/text but you can let us know you prefer to communicate via phone call only if you prefer.
    • You can opt out of email/text communication at any time, but your appointment will be cancelled (and you will be charged a cancellation/late rebooking fee) if your appointment is unconfirmed.
  • Our patient procedures take some coordination, so rescheduling another patient due to someone’s last-minute schedule change isn’t always an option. Confirming your pet’s procedure appointment ensures that we are planning our time appropriately and providing the best care to the patients who need us.
  • Please let us know if there are any questions ahead of your procedure
  • If you have medications at home that may be useful in the post-procedure recovery period, please let us know by email. Read more

Preparation

  • Your pet should be fasted as recommended by our team
  • Please administer pre-anesthesia medications (if prescribed for your pet) as directed
  • Please plan to have everyone responsible for your pet’s medical decision-making available for the update following oral diagnostics (generally 1-2 hours after your pet’s admission to our clinic)

Arrival For Your Pet’s Procedure Visit

  • Park in front or back of clinic
  • Call to let us know you’re here
  • Our team will come meet you and your pet and confirm:
    • That there haven’t been any changes in your pet’s health or medications since your consultation visit
    • That prescribed pre-anesthesia medications (if applicable) have been administered
    • That your pet was fasted as recommended
    • Your preferences for communication of diagnostic findings and updates during the procedure
  • Only patients are brought into the clinic:
    • Your pet will be with us for several hours; there is no need to wait on-site for your pet to be discharged

Your Pet’s Pre-Anesthesia Care

  • We’ll repeat your pet’s physical examination and take their photo for our medical records
  • We’ll place their IV catheter so we can administer intravenous fluids and medications
  • We’ll administer additional pre-anesthesia medications to take effect by the time your pet is ready for anesthesia
  • While these medications take effect, we’ll set up your pet’s treatment space for their specific size and needs
  • Once everything is in place, we’ll induce anesthesia

Anesthesia

  • Inducing anesthesia means making a patient unconscious using short-acting medications.
    • This is necessary for dogs and cats to allow oral diagnostics and other procedures to be performed
    • Immediately after anesthesia induction, an endotracheal tube is placed to:
      • Deliver oxygen and anesthetic gas (this is one aspect that allows us to adjust the depth of anesthesia)
      • Protect the patient’s airway while they are unconscious
    • A team of either a veterinarian and a senior veterinary assistant or a Registered Veterinary Technician and a senior veterinary assistant will be working with your pet at all times while they are anesthetized
      • This means that one team member is dedicated to monitoring and recording patient vital parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, tissue oxygenation, CO2 levels and temperature while the other performs diagnostics or treatment.
  • Continuous communication between the team allows tailoring and adjustments of anesthesia based on patient needs.
  • There are varying levels of anesthesia, from light to deep.
    • Non-painful procedures such as dental scaling (except root scaling) and polishing are performed under relatively light anesthesia, while surgery (including root scaling) requires local anesthesia and additional medication for pain control.
    • We maintain patients at the level of anesthesia required for their procedures, but no deeper, and make sure that pain is prevented and controlled.
  • Once anesthetized, our team puts in place advanced patient monitoring and support equipment
    • One team member immediately begins documenting patient vital signs
    • The other prepares for oral diagnostics to be performed
  • We also use appropriate local nerve blocks to reduce sensation in the areas of the mouth where we are working, thus reducing discomfort under anesthesia and therefore reducing the amount of systemic medications required to maintain anesthesia.

Oral Diagnostics

Update Following Oral Diagnostics

  • Similar to our consultation visits, the format of these updates has some flexibility but is largely dependent on how your pet’s doctor communicates most effectively.
    • When your pet is admitted for their procedure, we’ll let you know the timing for expecting an update and confirm the best way to reach you with this update
    • Our Veterinary Technicians or senior veterinary assistants are generally stepping in to perform appropriate tasks such as scaling and polishing and local nerve blocks while your doctor provides you with this update
      • It’s important to keep this conversation somewhat brief to avoid prolonging anesthesia time. We encourage you to reach out with general questions or concerns ahead of your pet’s procedure appointment.
      • Remember that our team will review recovery care and expectations at discharge.
    • If there’s decision-making to do about whether to be more proactive or conservative with particular aspects of treatment, you and your doctor will do this together and decide on the specific details of the treatment plan at this time
    • Now that the treatment plan has been defined, our team will let you know either your pet’s planned discharge time, or when to check in to confirm a discharge time

Treatment

  • After your doctor has provided you with an update on the oral diagnostic findings, they will proceed with your pet’s treatment as described
  • This will vary widely among patients

Recovery

  • Our meticulous approach with patients under anesthesia continues into the recovery period
  • Our team monitors patients continuously until their reflexes have returned and they no longer require supplemental oxygen and heat support
  • As patients recover, we’re watching to confirm that they have adequate pain control, while at the same time not experiencing significant side effects of their pain medications

Discharge

  • Our team will review what to expect from your pet following their procedure and their care and medication instructions
    • Generally patients are able to eat and drink the same day
  • While we will encourage you to limit strenuous activities the afternoon of the procedure, activity “around the house” and leash walks for dogs is allowed
  • Our team will discuss the side effects of anesthetic drugs that you are likely to see (these are minor and manageable even if possibly different than your pet’s usual behaviors)
  • If a recheck visit is recommended, we’ll schedule this for you
  • Our team will collect payment for your pet’s procedure fees and provide you with an invoice
  • Our team will bring your pet to you and if needed, assist with lifting them into your vehicle
  • We want you to be comfortable with caring for your pet at home.
    • We will not discharge your pet to you until they are medically stable
    • While your pet’s care needs will not be extreme, there are some visible side effects of anesthetic drugs which in some individuals can appear distressing to those not used to seeing them. We want you to know what to expect from this.
    • We encourage you to stay with us (in your vehicle or on our patio) and observe your pet’s behavior until you are confident that you’re ready to bring them home with you. Our team will check in with you periodically and be available to answer any questions you may have. When you are ready, you’ll take your pet home.

Follow Up

  • We’ll check in on our next working day via text message (if you’ve opted out of this, please let us know so that we can give you a phone call)
  • A recheck visit is not always necessary, and we will schedule one at the time your pet is discharged if their doctor recommends this, but if your pet is not doing as expected following their procedure, please let us know and we will schedule a one as needed.