|Barked: Thu Apr 29, '10 6:53am PST |
|I realize I'm a bit late weighing in ... and I guess for whatever it's worth I sort of straddle both sides of the line on this one. I used to work for a vet, so not only was I often charged with supervising other people's animals coming out of anesthesia, I also was always there not just for the waking up but was also actually in-surgery when any of my animals were spayed, etc. The first of my animals that I was not in there for the surgery or the wake up was Olivia, my now six year old domestic shorthaired cat. When I went to pick her up late that afternoon, I was quite taken aback at how she was behaving - her eyes were wild and she was doing this extremely eerie, feral-sounding growl low in her throat. It took her until after midnight that night to really seem at all "with it" and it was a good two weeks before she acted normal again. Would things have been different had I been permitted to be there to stroke and talk to and comfort her as she came to consciousness? I don't really know. When Tanner, my four year old cat, was neutered, he was totally fine when I picked him up, his normal self, didn't skip a beat. Then again, a spay is a lot more involved of a surgery than a neuter, and Olivia has always been a bit more of a "finely tuned instrument" than Tanner is. She is considerably more confident, yet also much more highly strung and sensitive. So who knows how things might or might not have played out had I requested and/or been permitted to be there as she woke up.
Tucker & Phoebe I adopted from a shelter and a rescue group respectively, and they were already neutered & spayed and have fortunately not needed any surgical procedures since then. However, tomorrow Tucker is having a dental cleaning, and possible extraction of a couple of teeth we've been watching for awhile that we don't like how they're looking. I will not be in the surgery, but I will be there when he comes out of anesthesia. Hopefully he comes out smoothly & easily, but if he doesn't, I'll be prepared. From having seen who knows how many dogs & cats come out of anesthesia, I am aware that they often, as Zeus said, "wake up rough." I know he may thrash and howl, whimper, cry, etc. and am confident in my ability to remain calm, not add to any stress he may be feeling, and stay out of the staff's way. I have this confidence becaus of the numerous animals, including several of my own, that I have watched coming out of from under anesthetic. Once I know he's safely out, I'll head back to my office to get some work done before going back later that afternoon & picking him up, leaving him to be monitored by the staff.
At the very least, if your vet will permit you to be there when your dog comes out of anesthesia, and if you think you want to be there, it certainly would be a good idea to watch at least one or two other animals coming out of anesthesia, even on closed circuit TV, before watching your own.
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