1) It is recommended that a veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician supervise the patient admissions.
a) A properly trained nonprofessional can be quite capable of handling this process but we recommend that a licensed professional be available to assist this individual should questions or concerns arise.
2) The patient’s medical record should be reviewed for completeness.
3) A pre-surgical review of the patient’s history should be performed prior to admission. An admission checklist or questionnaire can be a valuable tool to insure a thorough assessment of the patient. An example questionnaire is included at the end of this reference.
a) Food should be withheld for 12 hours prior to admission in normal cats and dogs over age 4 months.
i) For cats and dogs under 4 months of age, hypoglycemia is a significant concern.
(1) Withholding food for only 4 hours prior to anesthesia helps to minimize this concern.
(2) Offering food within 2 or 3 hours of recovery is also recommended.
b) Any medications or supplements given in the prior 7 days should be recorded and reviewed with a doctor.
c) Any new health concerns should be recorded and reviewed with a doctor.
d) Any previous anesthetic “problems” should be reviewed with owner, recorded and reviewed with a doctor.
e) Pets with histories of excessive stress when kenneled, chewing at stitches or bandages, difficulty restricting activity, or difficulty maintaining pet in clean, dry area during recovery should be noted.
f) Water should not be withheld prior to admission.
4) Smaller growths should be marked for easy identification.
a) The owner should show the admitting staff member where the growths are, and the staff member should mark them with the owner present.
i) Hair can be clipped at the site or a marker used to identify the site.
5) An accurate Estimate and Surgical Release Form should be reviewed with, and signed by, the owner.
a) Please be vigilant for owners who may not understand the form or, in fact, may not be able to read the form.
i) A resistance to sign the form may be one indication of this.
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Last modified: April 9, 2011 .