When your pet arrives on the day of their desexing procedure, they will be checked externally for any signs of illness. This helps to ensure they are fit and well enough for the procedure.
A preanaesthetic blood test is recommended before surgery commences. This test determines that your pet’s liver and kidneys are functioning as they should be. This test is absolutely vital in pets over 5-7 years of age. After the necessary testing has been performed, your pet will be given a pre-medication. This will make them a little drowsy and will provide the necessary relaxation required before an initial dose of general anaesthetic is given. The pre-medication includes a pain relief agent which takes effect before they have any pain stimulus.
Intravenous fluids help to stabilise your pet’s blood pressure during surgery and ensures a much gentler and faster wake up from general anaesthetic. Now your pet’s fluids are attached and flowing. They are now ready for the first dose of anaesthetic. This intravenous drug will quickly put them in a state which allows a breathing tube to be passed into the windpipe. This breathing tube is now connected to an anaesthetic machine that delivers a safe gaseous anaesthetic into your pet’s lungs. Special monitoring devices are attached which watch their heart and breathing rate and display the body’s oxygen levels. Your pet is now in a state of deep sleep and won’t consciously feel any pain. The surgery site is now clipped and cleaned. Your pet is now ready for the operating theatre where they can then be placed safely on their back and the surgical site can be further prepared by a surgical nurse. A specially prepared and sterilised surgical kit is carefully opened to maintain complete sterility at all times.
Now the surgery begins. An incision is made through the skin. In females, the ovaries and uterus are located and carefully removed. In males, the testes are located within the scrotum. All the blood vessels are clamped and tied off so they don’t continue to bleed. The patient is carefully monitored to ensure the level of anaesthetic is appropriate. The surgeon carefully checks the ligation points to ensure all bleeding has stopped and all ends are safely tied. Now the wound can be closed. Three layers, including the muscle and subcutaneous layers are stitched back together (except in male cats) using absorbable suture material. The outer skin layer is usually stitched together using a non-absorbable suture material which will be removed upon vet rechecking in 10-14 days. The anaesthetic gas is now turned off. Slowly your pet will begin to wake up. The breathing tube is left in their windpipe to allow them to breathe safely until swallowing reflexes return to normal. The nurse monitors your pet closely until they are sufficiently awake and the breathing tube can be safely removed. By the time your pet goes home they will be fully awake although will still remain a little drowsy. This is very normal.