Your cat will be admitted and weighed on the day of surgery; this allows us to calculate exactly how much premedication and anaesthetic will be needed. If you have elected for us to run a pre-anaesthetic blood profile then we will take a blood sample from your cat’s neck. This will be run through our in-house Idexx blood machine – this will let us ensure that your pet’s internal organs are functioning well and that it is safe to give an anaesthetic.
Your cat is then sedated using a combination of drugs, including pain control, which will make your cat feel relaxed and make the induction phase of the anaesthetic smoother and easier.
After about 15 minutes we will then go to the next stage of induction where an intravenous anaesthetic is injected into a vein in your cat’s front leg. This is very short acting and allows us to place an endotracheal tube into your cat’s wind pipe. This allows us to deliver oxygen and anaesthetic gas to your pet, this gas keeps your pet asleep while we perform the surgical procedure.
Once asleep and stable we attach monitoring machines that allow us to measure your pet’s heart rate and also blood oxygen levels. We also place an oesophageal stethoscope that allows us to very simply listen to your cat’s heart rate.
Your cat is then taken into our sterile theatre where her skin is cleaned again and made ready for surgery.
The surgeon scrubs their hands and then puts on a sterile gown and gloves and is ready to start the surgery. We place a sterile drape over the cat and then make a small incision about 1 to 2 cm in the midline of the cat’s tummy that starts very close to the umbilicus.
We then use a hook to locate and pull up the uterus which is clamped and tied off using vicryl – an absorbable but very strong suture material – both uterine horns are tied off first and then the body of the uterus. Finally the muscle layer is sutured closed and then the subcutaneous fat and finally the skin is closed with one or two sutures using nylon. These are the sutures that we remove 7 – 10days after the surgery.
Upon recovering from the anaesthetic the cat is placed on a very soft bed with a heated pad and given further pain medication that will last for 24 hours after the surgery.
Because we use a sterile theatre we do not routinely give antibiotics pre or postoperatively.