At East End Veterinary Medical Centre we provide several surgical services to meet the needs of our patients and clients.
The most common surgeries we perform are:
- Spays and neuters
- Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment (COHAT)
- Tumor removal
- Bladder stone removal
- Select eye surgeries: “Cherry eye”, Eyelid Tumor Excision, Enucleation
- Select orthopedic procedures: Extracapsular Suture Stabilization for Cruciate Ligament rupture, Medial Patellar Luxation correction
- Select Soft tissue surgeries: Prophylactic Gastropexy (to prevent bloat), Gastro-intestinal Foreign Body removal, Episioplasty, Splenectomy, Perineal Urethrostomy
Most of the surgeries we perform are scheduled in advance, but occasionally we perform emergency surgery depending on what is required and our availability, For those emergency procedures we are unable to perform, we will refer you to one of the specialty /emergency practices in the area. In addition, we will refer you to a surgical specialist for procedures we are unable to perform.
A word to the wise: Many people “shop around” for the best price on surgeries, without the knowledge of why the cost varies among
veterinary practices. At East End Veterinary Medical Centre, it is not our goal to provide the cheapest surgical services; rather, our goal is to provide a safe surgical experience for your pet. If you are shopping around for the best price, make sure you understand that there are differences in the ways that veterinary practices provide and monitor anesthesia, some of which can increase anesthetic risk. Low-cost spay/neuter clinics often cut corners on safety. It is up to you to decide what is best for you and your pet.
Although it is impossible to completely eliminate anesthetic risk, at EEVMC we take measures to reduce anesthetic risk as much as possible. In addition to physical examination, prior to general anesthesia we require that all dogs and cats have pre-anesthetic blood work performed to help us identify any underlying issues that might increase risk. Ideally, this is performed before the day of the procedure. Most of the time, pre-anesthetic bloodwork is found to be normal, but occasionally we will find an abnormality. In these cases, we will discuss the relative risks with you so you can make an informed decision about whether to proceed with the anesthesia.
On the day of the procedure, your pet is initially given a sedative to relax them. This allows us to place an IV catheter. (With the exception of feline neuters, all anesthetized animals having elective procedures performed will have an IV catheter placed). Once the catheter is in place, we administer a medication that allows us to place an endo-tracheal tube; and once this is in place, they are connected to oxygen and an inhalant gas anesthetic agent, which maintains the anesthesia for as long as necessary to perform the procedure.. While under anesthesia, a veterinary technician monitors several parameters, including electrocardiogram (ECG), blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, blood-oxygen saturation, and end-tidal CO2. Animals also have IV fluids running continuously for the duration of the procedure.
The City of Pittsburgh has banned the practice and therefore we do not perform the procedure. However, the following information may still be found useful.
The following points are the foundation for full understanding and disclosure regarding declawing:
- Surgical declawing is not a medically necessary procedure for the cat in most cases. While rare in occurrence, there are inherent risks and complications with any surgical procedure including, but not limited to, anesthetic complications, hemorrhage, infection and pain. If surgical onychectomy is performed, appropriate use of safe and effective anesthetics and perioperative analgesics for an appropriate length of time are imperative. Pain management is necessary (not elective) and required for this procedure. Multimodal pain management is recommended, and there should be a written aftercare plan. The surgical alternative of tendonectomy is not recommended.
- Scratching is a normal feline behavior, it is a means for cats to mark their territory both visually and with scent, and is used for claw conditioning (“husk” removal) and stretching activity.
- Owners should provide suitable implements for normal scratching behavior. Examples are scratching posts, cardboard boxes, lumber or logs, and carpet or fabric remnants affixed to stationary objects. Implements should be tall or long enough to allow full stretching, and be firmly anchored to provide necessary resistance to scratching. Cats should be positively reinforced in the use of these implements.
- Appropriate claw care (consisting of trimming the claws every 1 to 2 weeks) should be provided to prevent injury or damage to household items.
- Temporary synthetic nail caps are available as an alternative to onychectomy to prevent human injury or damage to property. Plastic nail caps are usually applied every 4 to 6 weeks.
- Declawed cats should be housed indoors and allowed outside only under direct supervision.
- Scientific data does indicate that cats that have destructive scratching behavior are more likely to be euthanized, or more readily relinquished, released, or abandoned, thereby contributing to the homeless cat population. Where scratching behavior is an issue as to whether or not a particular cat can remain as an acceptable household pet in a particular home, surgical onychectomy may be considered.
- There is no scientific evidence that declawing leads to behavioral abnormalities when the behavior of declawed cats is compared with that of cats in control groups.
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