Plymouth Veterinary Hospital is proud to be AAHA accredited and proud to be your veterinary hospital of choice!

The attention and care given to surgical patients are one of the many hallmarks of an AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) accredited hospital.  We take AAHA’s more than 900 standards of practice to heart and are passionate about ensuring the safety and comfort of every patient that comes through our doors.  Take a journey through the day of a Plymouth Veterinary Hospital surgical patient!

A Journey Through Surgery With Plymouth Veterinary Hospital

Most of our surgical procedures take place on Thursday and Friday mornings and early afternoons.  All patients are admitted to the hospital for surgery between 8:00 and 8:30 am so our technician and assistant can perform intake procedures and prepare everything for surgery.  A signed consent form must accompany all patients.  This form delineates the procedure(s) we will be performing, the risks involved (always a chance with anesthesia, though you will see how we reduce those risks further along in this journey), and includes areas for clients to choose optional services (extra dental care, microchipping, anal gland expression, etc.). Discharge time is in the afternoon, so our patient has time to recover from anesthesia.

No surgery at Plymouth Veterinary Hospital can go forth without clean and sterile equipment.  Our autoclave is frequently in use to make sure we have all tools available when we need them to ensure a sterile, seamless surgery!

A full blood-work panel must be performed within six months or the anticipated surgical date for any anesthetic procedure. If the patient is unable to get blood work done before the surgery date, we can always do the blood work using our in-house laboratory.  We also require an annual negative heartworm test.

We make sure our patients are comfortable and sleepy before beginning our surgical preparations.  A series of injections relaxes them so there is no fear or stress as we prepare for insertion of the IV catheter and intubation tube for anesthesia.

Our technician carefully places an IV catheter into our patient’s vein. This IV catheter will provide fluids directly into the patient’s veins throughout the surgery or dental procedure, helping to bolster the patient’s blood pressure and keep them stable and hydrated. Medications can also be easily administered through the catheter in case of an emergency.

Feel the breeze!  All patients who are having internal or external surgery will require shaving.  It is vital to remove the fur and clean the skin thoroughly to make sure the veterinarian has a clean area free of bacteria in which to make her incision; this is one of the many ways we prevent infection during surgery.

We monitor all of our patients carefully using the latest in vital sign monitoring technology. The Cardell® Touch monitor provides essential information such as pulse oximetry (the measurement of oxygen carried in the blood), computerized electrocardiogram, blood pressure, temperature, and respiratory rate; this allows us to know exactly how your pet is doing at all times, ensuring their proper care and treatment.

If we remove any lumps, bumps, or other abnormalities during surgery, we contain them in formalin jars and send them out to our external laboratory.  Our preferred laboratory is called Antech®, and they handle biopsying most of our removed tumors.  We also utilize Michigan State University and Minnesota Urolith Center for additional laboratory testing, when necessary.  A biopsy is the only way to definitively know what a mass is and how it is going to affect our patient, in the long term.

Just like when you go to your dentist’s office, we have our tray of dental tools out and ready to be put to work during our Comprehensive Oral Health and Treatment (or COHAT) procedures.  Our technician does a full cleaning and scaling of the teeth and polishes those pearly whites until they glisten! 

Checking below the gum line is an integral part of good dental health. With our state-of-the-art X-Mind Unity® digital dental radiology unit, we can check for bone loss and other abnormalities that may not be apparent during a routine physical exam.

Pick up times for surgeries usually take place after 5:00 pm. All of our surgical and dental patients go home with detailed discharge instructions, given both verbally and with a paper copy to refer to at home. Owners are instructed on how to care for their pet at home, what medications to give and when, and whether or not a follow-up appointment is required. They also get a patient “SWAG” bag filled with dental treat samples and product recommendations for good health.

After surgery, all patients are monitored by our veterinary technician and assistants. All of our patients must be awake, mobile, and comfortable before leaving them to recover, quietly in the ward. Surgical patients are checked on regularly throughout the afternoon until they are released to their owners. We always call the patient’s owners with an update as soon as they are up and recovering. We know how much you worry about them when they are away!

Between our extensive experience, our comprehensive training, and the passion and dedication we have for healing and maintaining our patients’ health, you and your pets are in the very best of hands. Call Plymouth Veterinary Hospital today at (734) 453-0485 to see how we can help you, and your pet live a long and healthy life together!