Its Kapok’s big day, she is having a c-section to deliver her puppies! Since your work schedule allows, she is coming in bright and early this morning. Other pets get a head start by coming in the night before, since it is easier for their busy families.

Kapok’s vitals are examined for surgery. Eyes are checked for jaundice. Lymph nodes are checked for enlargement. Gum color is assessed, the heart rate and rhythm is evaluated. No abnormal or extra heart sounds are heard.

Kapok’s record is reviewed for preexisting conditions affecting anesthetic, needed screening bloodwork, special precautions needed, etc. The anesthetic used varies by patient and procedure.

In Kapok’s case, an IV catheter is set in place and a preanesthetic injection is given to help with anxiety and reduce the total anesthetic medications needed.

Kapok is given an anesthetic into the vein over 30 seconds. She falls asleep very quickly.

Using a laryngoscope to see the back of the throat, a tube is placed into the windpipe so we can provide a carefully metered mixture of anesthetic gas and oxygen. The percentage varies by the patient needs and the procedure.

Breathing is assessed and vital signs monitors are placed. This typically includes a probe in the esophagus to record ECG and core body temperature, a noninvasive blood pressure cuff on a leg, a sensor on the tongue to record pulses and oxygen saturation of the blood.

The area requiring surgery is shaved because hair will trap dirt and debris. Loose hair is not allowed in the surgery site. Hair gel may be used to keep hair elsewhere from moving.

The skin is carefully scrubbed using a special pattern starting at the area of the planned incision and moving outward. This is done three times.

Meanwhile the surgeon has been scrubbing and dressing for surgery, with a mask, cap and sterile gown. Sterile gloves are applied over the scrubbed hands

The surgery pack, previously autoclaved (high pressure and heat is used to destroy any micro-organisms.) now has its double wrap opened.

A sterile barrier is created, isolating the sterile surgery field. Everything blue is sterile. The surgeon can only touch the sterile parts from the moment the hands are scrubbed until the surgery is done.

Kapok is monitored carefully by both the surgical technician and the surgeon throughout the procedure.

Additional personel are brought in as needed.

In her case, the technician will receive the puppies and stimulate them to breathe.

Once the surgery is done Kapok’s incision is stapled closed and she is cleaned up. She is given pure oxygen for a minute, then allowed to breath room air. Aaaah. The nails are trimmed while she is asleep, since the clippers make her nervous. Her ticklish ears are also checked out and cleaned as needed. She is carefully watched until she is able to swallow again, then the breathing tube is removed.

The puppies are given a chance to nurse as she is waking up before she is given a warm place to wake up, with plenty of towels acting as blankets. Pain medication may include narcotics in an IV drip, local anesthetics, nerve blocks, and pain medication to go home depending on the surgery and her needs.

Since Kapok is doing well, she and her litter will be able to go home soon.