Saturday Jan 12, 2013
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES. HOW LONG IT TAKES TO NEUTER A YOUNG POM?
A young doctor came at 9.30 am on this fine Saturday morning, with a Pom as she had made an appointment for the neuter.
"Has he eaten?" I asked.
"Yes," she said.
"It is best not to feed the dog 10 hours before surgery as the dog may vomit during surgery."
"Your staff did not mention this when I phoned for an appointment," she said.
In the Singapore General Hospital where I went for surgery under general anaesthesia, surgery to remove a lump from my left wrist involved a consultation, blood test, X-rays, ECG and counselling on medical charges and anaesthetic risk and signing of informed consent after being informed of a possible risk of death on the operating table. A lot of time.
In veterinary medicine, such procedures would be costly. For this young dog, a general examination was done. The dog was deemed healthy and I operated 1 hour later. From my experience, the combined domitor + ketamine at 0.4 + 0.5 ml IV per 10 kg in a young healthy dog does not cause vomiting and permits short surgery without the need to top up with isoflurane gas.
My experienced vet assistant got the isoflurane gas ready. "If the vet is fast, there is no need for isoflurane gas top up because I gave 100% of the formula," I told Min. He was not convinced. As the dog would not permit shaving of the scrotal area, Min had to do it after I gave this formula.
Min recorded the time of the start of domitor and ketamine injection and the last stitch. It was 20 minutes which included shaving the scrotal area of around 2 minutes. It would be 18 minutes.
"What's the time between first skin incision and last stitch?" I asked Min to calculate. It was 10 minutes.
No isoflurane gas. Towards the 18th minute, the dog's leg moved a bit. As I started to stitch one horizontal mattress to close the skin, the dog moved a bit. "Standby for the isoflurane gas and mask," I said to Min.
I completed the surgery in 20 mintues from IV injection of domitor + ketamine + normal saline in one syringe of 0.55 ml IV.
Three forceps method clamping the tunica enclosing the spermatic cord and blood vessels is the best. The lowest forcep is released. I ligated 3/0 absorbable polysorb on the groove from the released forcep one way and repeat the other way. I threw in 5 knots. I excise the area between the 2nd and 3rd forceps. No bleeding.
The skin incison of around 1.3 cm long was stitched with just one horizontal mattress using the same 3/0.
PAIN-KILLERS AND ANTIBIOTICS given..
No complaint today, Sunday, 24 hours after surgery. I will follow up tomorrow.
I audit associate vets' efficiency. Surgery should be speedy, accurate and complete. Much time and resources are wasted when the vet is not well prepared by visualising the whole process. Pre-anaesthetic shaving saves a few mintues but this Pom would not have it done and so was shaved post-sedation.