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There is a difference between cheap, low cost surgery and surgery at Belton Animal Clinic and
At Belton Animal Clinic and Exotic Care Center we understand that affordability is important. In this economy, more people than ever are carefully watching how they spend their money. However, price shopping for surgery costs can be dangerous to your pet, and choosing the least expensive quote often means cutting corners on quality, comfort, and safety.
Unfortunately, many pet owners are unaware of the differences between low cost surgery and surgery at an AAHA accredited practice like Belton Animal Clinic and Exotic Care Center. Surgical costs are determined based on many things, including; the precautions taken before surgery, the medications used, the monitoring used, and the post surgical care. Cheaper quotes for surgery are often cheaper due to what is NOT included, and choosing low cost surgery often means sacrificing in the areas mentioned above.
AAHA stands for American Animal Hospital Association, which is a national organization that accredits animal hospitals based on over 900 standards of care. The goal of the AAHA and AAHA accredited practices is to uphold the highest standard of care and therefore provide each animal with the best possible medical care available. Pet owners can be confident that their pet is receiving the best quality, most up to date medicine available at an AAHA facility. Belton Animal Clinic and Exotic Care Center is the first and only clinic in Belton to become AAHA accredited.
Anesthesia for surgery and other procedures is common in veterinary medicine. In fact, in most veterinary practices, pets are anesthetized every day for procedures such as spay/neuter and teeth cleaning. However, even though these procedures and anesthesia are done frequently, it does not mean they should be considered minor procedures or that there are no risks involved.
The differences in surgery at Belton Animal Clinic and Exotic Care Center start from the moment your pet arrives to the moment they go home. Every pet admitted for surgery receives a complete pre-surgical physical exam by the doctor (even if they were just examined recently). This exam helps make sure your pet is healthy enough for surgery and alerts the doctor to any potential problems. Next, the technicians will collect a small amount of blood for pre-surgical tests. Included in all surgeries is a complete blood cell count (CBC) and protein level to screen all pets for infection, dehydration, and anemia. A complete blood profile to further test for organ function is optional, but recommended. Bloodwork allows the doctor to be sure there is no underlying illness that may make anesthesia unsafe, and allows the staff to tailor the anesthetic drugs so that the safest protocol or combination of drugs can be used ensuring the pet will have a smooth anesthesia and recovery.
All animals receive a premedication injection 20-30 minutes before anesthesia. This injection starts to relax the pet and starts pain medication before the procedure occurs (when it is the most effective). An IV catheter is also strongly recommended for all procedures. A catheter allows for immediate administration of life saving medication if complications arise and allows fluid support throughout the procedure to maintain hydration and blood pressure. Administration of IV fluids also often hastens recovery from anesthesia once the procedure is completed.
Once the animal is anesthetized, a trained technician is dedicated to monitoring vital signs every 10 minutes throughout the procedure. We also use sophisticated electronic monitors to measure temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen levels, and depth of anesthesia. While not inexpensive, this monitoring provides your pet with the best chance of a successful procedure and smooth recovery. The technician also holds each pet and monitors it until they are fully awake and able to sit up on their own. Pets are NEVER left in a cage to recover on their own without supervision.
Although pets often hide it, no procedure is without pain. Effective pain management is very important to a successful procedure and comfortable recovery. Pain medications are started prior to surgery and continued throughout and after surgery to ensure your pet heals as quickly and as comfortably as possible. At Belton Animal Clinic and Exotic Care Center we also use a newer technology called Alpha-Stim electrical therapy to manage and reduce pain. This simple device has allowed us to use less medications and drugs during anesthesia therefore making anesthesia safer. In addition, we use a laser for all surgeries rather than a traditional scalpel blade. The laser helps seal nerve endings and blood vessels as it cuts allowing for a quicker and less painful surgery and recovery.
We know that all of these "extras" are not absolutely necessary to perform surgery, but we feel the benefits of the specialized and compassionate care that we offer in order to make anesthesia safe and to limit pain in your pets, is worth the cost of this care. At Belton Animal Clinic and Exotic Care Center we strive to use every precaution we can to ensure anesthesia is a less worrisome experience for both the owner and the pet.