Owners are often concerned about anaesthesia for their pets, and while any anaesthetic carries a small risk we can really minimise the risks with careful preparation.
The following steps can help to minimise any risk for your pet undergoing anaesthesia:
- Withhold food from 8pm the night before the procedure to minimise the risk of vomiting during anaesthesia.
- Allow access to water overnight but remove it when you first get up, again to minimise the risk of vomiting during anaesthesia
- Admission of patients between 7.30 to 8.30 am allows veterinary and nursing staff to do a complete health check and run pre anaesthetic bloods prior to anaesthesia so we are aware of any pre existing problems and can design an individual regime for each pet.
- Where abnormalities are present using supportive therapy such as intravenous fluids, and medications will help support organ function through the anaesthetic.
- All animals given anaesthetics or sedations are carefully monitored by a nurse, In addition the use of special monitors measuring heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and expired carbon dioxide continuously allows us to respond very quickly if any problems occur.
If you would like to know more about anaesthesia options for your pet or have any concerns regarding anaesthesia please call us on 6288 4944 to speak to one of our trained staff.
Ever wondered what happens when your pet comes to WCVH for surgery?
The first step happens the day before the surgery. It is important to minimize the risk of vomiting during surgery, therefore from 8pm the night before the surgery all food must be with held although it is fine for your pet to continue drinking.
Our nurses here will prepare a surgical kit with all the equipment needed during surgery as well as the gown for the veterinarian so these can be sterilized ready for the next day.
On the morning of the surgery your pet will need to come to the hospital between 7.30am and 8.30am so a pre-anaesthetic check and blood test (if necessary) can be done.
Once the your pet gets the all clear from the veterinarian a premedication is given that includes a mild sedative and pain relief to help calm your pet and reduce the dose of anaesthetic required.
Once the premedication has taken effect your pet will be given an intravenous anaesthetic and then the veterinarian places a endotracheal tube (breathing tube) into the airway which allows oxygen and gaseous anaesthetic to be administered directly to the lungs. The anaesthetic is monitored throughout by one of our qualified veterinary nurses.
Now your pet is clipped in the area that will need to be prepared for surgery, for a desex the belly is clipped. All the loose hair is then vacuumed away and a quick clean is done with some antiseptic swabs to remove any surface dirt. Now your pet is ready to be moved into the surgery, where the clipped area is surgically prepared.
In the mean time the surgeon will change into a scrub suit, and put on a cap and mask. He or she will then scrub his/her hands and arms using a brush and sponge and iodine, much as you see on medical programs on TV, finally the sterile gown is put on.
Now the veterinarian moves into the surgery to put on sterile gloves and the patient has the prepared surgical area draped with sterile drapes.
The veterinarian now proceeds with the surgery and the nurse continues to monitor the aneasthetic and provides any instruments or materials the veterinarian may need.
When the surgery is completed your pets gaseous anaesthetic is turned off but oxygen is administered for a further 5 minutes to help the recovery, the skin is cleaned of disinfectants and further pain relief is given if required.
Now it is time to move to a recovery cage with a heat mat and fluffy blanket and the endotracheal tube is removed once swallowing has returned to normal. Your pet is then left in a quiet, warm and comfortable cage until sufficiently recovered from the anaesthetic to walk at which point they are given a toilet break or for cats a litter tray is provided and they are allowed some water. In most cases they will be ready to go home that afternoon. For some procedures such as orthopedic surgery your pet may have to stay overnight to ensure a comfortable recovery.
Finally the nurse or veterinarian will run you through the necessary home care to ensure a full recovery when you come to the hospital to collect your pet.
If you have any questions or would like any further information on surgery at Weston Creek Veterinary Hospital contact us today.
Radiography (X-rays) and ultrasound have the ability to “look through” tissues. These make great diagnostic aids for many parts of the body, and often a definitive diagnosis is only possible when using one of these imaging techniques.
X-rays give us a 2-dimensional view of a specific part of an animal’s body, and are particularly good for imaging bones, outlines of soft tissue structures, and air-filled spaces (such as lungs).
We would routinely take X-rays of an animal with chest and abdominal problems, and in certain lamenesses to confirm or rule out fractures and bone malalignments. Sometimes there may not be a fracture as such, but by taking X-rays, we can see that bones may be out of position due to ligament injuries.
Ultrasound has advantages and disadvantages over X-rays depending on the situation. An ultrasound machine can produce cross-sectional pictures of organs (x-rays would only show the outline of the organ). This is particularly useful for visualising the inside of the urinary bladder, gall bladder, blood vessels, heart, liver, kidneys and the list goes on.
Ultrasound can also be used in “real time” – that is, we can view the organs at that exact time. With this, we can watch the heart expand and contract, look at movement of the gastrointestinal tract and much more.
Do you have a new puppy?
Weston Creek Veterinary Hospital offers puppy preschool for puppies from 8 to 15 weeks of age.
- Teaches you how to train your puppy so you can have polite canine citizen
- Puppies learn to interact with other dogs, and people, to develop good manners.
- Classes teach “sit”, “drop”, “stay”, “come”, and “walking well on lead”.
- Also covered are how to discourage unwanted behaviours such as play biting, and destructive behaviour, toilet training and environmental enrichment.
- All training is reward based and classes are run by a DELTA accredited Dog Trainer.
- Classes are small with a maximum of 6 puppies
Puppy Preschool runs for 4 consecutive weeks between 7-8pm on a Wednesday or Thursday evening in the reception area at WCVH. Puppies must have received their 6 week vaccination at least.
For more information or to book your puppy into a class please call 02 6288 4944.
In order to provide the best possible care for our patients and clients we have an in house Dispensary stocked with most regular prescription medications. However as there are now so many different medications for each condition we cannot keep all medications, or very large stocks of medications, on the shelves. For this reason it is usually best to ring a week before you run out of medication to fill a repeat script, as this allows us to order in the medication should it be required to fill your pets script.
Because we are an ASAVA (Australian Small Animal Veterinary Association) accredited hospital we are required to check patients twice yearly when they are on chronic medications. This is to ensure that the medication is not causing unwanted side effects and that no new medical conditions have developed that may require a change of medication. In some cases current medications may become unsafe if kidney, liver or heart problems develop.
Some medications, such as antibiotics, can not be prescribed without an appointment as there are now increasing problems with antibiotic resistance of bacteria. It is essential to ensure the right antibiotic is chosen depending on the bacteria present and the location of the infection. This often requires us to do some in house tests to identify the type of bacteria present and occasionally we may need to send a sample to pathology to identify the bacteria and their sensitivity to antibiotics.
We also stock a large number of over the counter medications such as medicated shampoos, worming, flea and heartworm prevention and our friendly staff will be more than happy to assist you with your pets needs.
Sometimes a physical exam is not sufficient to make a diagnosis and this is where specific tests can be used for diagnosis.
At Weston Creek Veterinary Hospital we offer a variety of in house tests such as blood tests, including a Pre-anaesthetic Blood Profile, to assess organ function. We also offer in house cytology allowing us to see if a lump is something to worry about and should be removed, or if it can be safely left.
Another test we commonly do in house is a urinalysis. This allows us to see if infection is present, and it can also pick up conditions like diabetes and problems with kidney function. Collecting a urine sample is not always easy but well worth the effort.
It is not possible to do all tests in house however and sometimes we need to send tests away to the Laboratory for assessment. This is especially the case with Histopathology, that assesses biopsies and lumps to help us diagnose problems, identify the type of lump and if it has been completely removed. We also send away Microbiology tests to find out which bacteria are present and what antibiotics they are sensitive to so we can specifically target the disease causing bacteria.
To help you make the most of your time together, we stock a variety of products.
Have your walks together become hard work? Sometimes the energy of your pooch can wear you out and make walking together a bit of a pain. Or does your little dog feel the need to stop and sniff everything. Don’t worry we have a number of leads, head collars and harnesses that will solve your problems and return the joy to your walks. Our receptionists will be happy to fit these for your dog.
Looking for an extra-special something for your pet? Check out our range of toys. We stock everything from Kongs and other interactive toys for dogs, to mouse danglers for cats.
Is your pooch fussy or in need of losing a few pounds? Or is your kitty reaching her mature years and you are looking for the best food for her? We offer a variety of foods to help you care for your pets, please ask our trained staff to advise you about the best selection for you.
Do you smell your dog before you see him? Or is his breath enough to clear a room? There is help at hand. We have a variety of pet shampoos and grooming products to restore the lustre and sweet smell to your dog’s coat. We also have tooth brushes and tooth paste and other treatments to get that breath back to normal doggy breath.
We also have a variety of pet care products that will help with prevention of fleas and ticks, or fix the nasty furball problem of your cat. Simply speak to our receptionists about your needs and they will advise you about the best products for you.
Critically ill or seriously injured pets require special care and attention to stabilize their condition. Our dedicated team of vets and nurses work to find out what treatments are needed provide supportive therapy to stabilize their condition and once it is safe to do so provide definitive treatments. Supportive care can include intravenous fluids to help maintain blood pressure and hydration, heat pads to help stabilize body temperature or in the case of heat stroke providing cooling, in some cases where pets have respiratory or heart problems oxygen can be provided via a nasal catheter or oxygen tents. Medications such as pain relief; corticosteroids to treat shock and other heart or respiratory drugs are also used to help our patients feel better.
While such times can often be distressing for both pets and their owners, we will do our best to support you through this difficult time by keeping you updated about your pet’s progress, the costs of treatment and ongoing treatments that may be required.
In order to provide the best possible care for our critically ill patients we may need to refer them to the Animal Referral Hospital Emergency Centre so that they can be monitored closely outside of our regular business hours. This allows high quality care to be available 365 days of the year and 24h a day.
An endoscope is essentially a long flexible camera allowing us to look down airways or the gastrointestinal tract.
Our long flexible endoscope is mainly used to investigate various gut problems. We have used it to remove chicken wings stuck in the oesophagus, a troublesome pair of pantyhose from a Labradors stomach and generally visiualise the oesophagus and stomach. This helps us to diagnose stomach ulcers, polyps or tumors, as well as problems with the oesophagus such as reflux. Biopsies can also be taken by using a special pair of forceps passed down the endoscope.
We also use the endoscope to assess the colon (the large intestine) again allowing us to look for ulcers, polyps or tumours.
Finally in larger dogs we can use the endoscope to remove foreign bodies such as grass seeds from the airways when these have been accidentally inhaled causing severe irritation and coughing.
Endoscopy is a very non-invasive way of assessing your pet’s gastrointestinal tract and sometimes the only way to remove foreign bodies from the airways. All we need is for the dog or cat to have a light aneasthetic so they do not bite the endoscope. Recovery after the procedure is very rapid.
Dental disease is one of the most common problems in pets today. While homecare can prevent dental problems owners are often unaware that their pet’s teeth have problems until they come in for their check up, or their pet’s bad breath alerts them to problems.
So what is involved in getting your pets teeth cleaned?
Firstly, as we use much the same equipment as human dentists use, our patients are required to be anaesthetized as the noise of the drills and scalers let alone the feel of it in their mouths will not be tolerated by dogs, much less cats. So to minimise the stress for our patients they are given a light anaesthetic. However as older pets can have problems with renal or liver function we advise a pre-anaesthetic blood profile before any anaesthetic is given. We also use intravenous fluids to further minimise any risk with anaesthesia.
Once anaesthetised, a thorough dental examination is carried out and if necessary dental x-rays are taken. The next step is to carry out any treatments, such as scaling of any tartar and polishing the teeth to reduce plaque adhering to the teeth. In some case extractions may be necessary for those teeth too badly damaged to save. If extractions are necessary we perform a local nerve block just as your dentist would to minimise any post-operative pain and also the need for increased anaesthesia. Antibiotics will be administered at the time of the extractions. Once treatment is completed the mouth is rinsed with an antibacterial solution, the anaesthetic is turned off and additional pain relief is given if extractions have been performed.
Once your pet has fully recovered from the anaesthetic, usually 2-3 hours, they are sent home. A full dental care plan will be discussed with you when your pet is discharged.
Dental care plans range from special dental foods, additives to the water such as Healthy Mouth, including raw, soft bones in their diet or in some cases tooth brushing. Any pets that have had extractions will need a recheck after 7 days to make sure their gums have healed sufficiently to allow them to begin their dental care plan. As part of any dental care program we recommend 6 monthly checks of the teeth to ensure their dental care plan remains effective.