Many pet owners have aversion to surgery due to perception of the discomfort their pet may experience. With modern pain management, most animals are kept comfortable from surgery to recovery, and are feeling back to normal in a very short time. This additional surgical information can help you better understand the options available for your pet.
Epidurals are performed on almost all hind leg or hind end procedures, completely numbing the patient for several hours, providing excellent pain management for the perioperative period and smoothing recovery.
Local blocks can numb the surgical site before, during, and after the procedures. These can be done for the front limbs, between the ribs, and in almost any location on which surgery might be performed.
Combinations of opioids (morphine-class drugs, like hydromorphone; Tramadol is an effective oral medication with similar effects), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, like Previcox and Metacam), and possibly a sedative or tranquilizer are extremely effective at keeping pets comfortable and relaxed throughout their entire hospital stay and their recovery at home.
Fentanyl patches applied to the pet’s shaved skin can provide continuous pain relief in the post-operative period, avoiding the highs and lows of intermittent oral or injectable medications, and decreasing the need to give medications, which may be difficult to administer to some pets. Fentanyl patches are extremely effective in cats, and often work well in small dogs.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Cutting edge NSAIDs like Previcox and Metacam, Rimadyl, and Onsior in cats, are similar to Celebrex (which is not approved in pets) in that they provide potent relief from pain and inflammation, while having the least possible effect on the stomach, liver, and kidneys. They are generally well tolerated, do not cause sedation or disorientation, and can markedly improve your pet’s comfort and recovery.
Please note, all NSAIDs can cause problems to the above systems (just like Ibuprofen/Advil/Motrin or aspirin in people), so they should only be used at your veterinarian’s recommendation. They should be discontinued if your pet is vomiting, stops eating, or begins having black or bloody stool. Do not combine with steroids, such as prednisone, or other non-steroidal medications, and do not use human medications as they may have severe or fatal side effects. Cats are especially sensitive to NSAIDs.
Patients recover in an intensive care environment, and they receive around-the-clock care by our veterinarians and technicians. We perform regular evaluations to catch and prevent problems. We take a proactive approach, anticipating what complications may occur and offering many preventative solutions. In addition to our laboratory testing, monitoring, aggressive pain management, nutritional support, and extraordinary TLC from the medical staff, we offer numerous cutting edge treatment options to maximize your pet’s recovery.