Chuy's Neuter Surgery
Chuy's Neuter Surgery at Pioneer Paws Veterinary Clinic
Chuy (pronounced "Chewy") was a 6 month old Chihuahua at the
time of his surgery.  He first started coming to Pioneer Paws
Veterinary Clinic when he was 11 weeks old.  His parents had
adopted him from Texas.  Dr. Songster discovered that Chuy only
had one testicle in his scrotum.  Chuy's mom and dad knew then
that Chuy would need to have a specific type of neuter surgery to
remove the hidden or retained testicle.  Chuy came in for his
surgery on May 13th, 2010.  This page describes Chuy's surgery
experience at our hospital.
Chuy's Check-in Process:
Chuy's mom and dad dropped Chuy off at 7:45 am on May 13th.  Jim was there to
greet them and explain the anesthesia consent forms.  Chuy's mom and dad
confirmed that Chuy didn't have anything to eat since 9 pm the night before.  Jim
went over the surgical estimate and explained the surgery so that Chuy's mom and
dad would know what Chuy's procedure would be like.  Jim placed an ID tag on
Chuy and Chuy's parents saw Chuy's kennel where he would stay.  Before saying
good-bye, Chuy's mom and dad left emergency contact information.
Chuy's Pre-anesthetic Evaluation:
First Dr. Songster did a complete physical examination.  Even though Chuy had just
come in a week or so earlier for a pre-surgical consultation with Dr. Songster, Chuy
again received a physical exam.  Many things can change in a short period of time.  
One change that Dr. Songster found was that Chuy's upper baby canine teeth had
fallen out.  Dr. Songster had expected that Chuy would need oral surgery to extract
those teeth but now found that that procedure was unnecessary.  Chuy still only
had one testicle in his scrotum, however, so the cryptorchid neuter surgery was
still necessary.  After Dr. Songster's physical exam, Sally drew blood for Chuy's
laboratory tests.  Chuy's complete blood count and chemistry profile were
completely normal.  Since Chuy came from Texas and was over 6 months old, we
ran a baseline heartworm test which was negative.  We also collected a urine
sample to measure his urine concentration ability - this was also normal.
Chuy's Anesthetic  Preparation:
Since Chuy's preanesthetic evaluation was normal, we gave Chuy a
"pre-medication" anti-anxiety medication.  The purpose of this
injection was to get a jump-start on any pain that the surgery would
cause as well as help Chuy relax and be less anxious about the
procedure.  About 15 minutes after we gave the premedication,
Sally placed Chuy's intravenous catheter and started him on
intravenous fluids.  His fluids were administered using a fluid pump
that closely regulated the rate of fluids.  Chuy's fluid pump followed
him into surgery and then into recovery as well.
Chuy's Anesthestic Procedure:
Now Chuy was ready to undergo general anesthesia.  He
received a short-acting general anesthesia injection
intravenously through his IV catheter port to make him lose
consciousness.  Once he was unconscious, Sally placed an
endotracheal tube down the back of his throat into his trachea
(airway).  Chuy was then hooked up to an anesthesia machine that
supplied a constant source of oxygen and a gas anesthesia agent
to keep him anesthetized.  Sally and Jim constantly monitored
Chuy's vital signs including his heart rate and respiration rate
and adjusted the amount of gas anesthesia accordingly.
Chuy's Surgical Preparation:
Chuy was placed on his back and his belly and
groin were shaved and the shaved hair was
removed using a special vacuum.  His skin was
then cleaned using a surgical scrub.  Chuy's
vital signs stayed stable while Jim and Sally
completed this process.  This initial surgical
preparation took place in our central treatment
and surgical prep area.  Chuy was then moved
into the sterile surgery room where the final
scrubbing procedure took place.
Inside the surgery room, Chuy was placed on a heated pillow which
helped to regulate Chuy's body temperature.  Anesthesia causes an
animal to lose body heat so having safe and appropriate warming
methods are imperative for a safe anesthetic procedure.  As Chuy's
anesthetist, Sally was responsible for paying close attention to his
"anesthetic plane ride".  In addition to watching him directly, Sally
had several monitors that provided valuable information about
Chuy's status.  An EKG monitored Chuy's heart rate and rhythm while
the blood pressure monitor regularly took Chuy's blood pressure.  
The pulse oximeter measured the oxygen concentration of Chuy's
blood while the capnograph measured his breaths and his carbon
dioxide levels.  Finally the temperature probe measured Chuy's body
temperature throughout the procedure.  Sally regularly recorded
these numbers into Chuy's electronic medical record and adjusted
his anesthesia accordingly.  Sally's vigilance and attention to detail
helped Chuy's anesthesia and surgery to be as safe as possible.
Dr. Songster's Surgical Scrubbing:
Meanwhile, Dr. Songster started scrubbing in preparation
for surgery.  Veterinarians must scrub their hands and
arms just like human surgeons do using a surgical scrub
solution.  She had already put on a cap and mask -
surgical caps and masks are required not only for the
surgeon but also for all assistants in the surgery room.  
After she finished scrubbing, she then dried her arms
and hands using a sterile towel and then donned a sterile
surgical gown.  She then put on a sterile pair of surgery
gloves and was ready to enter the surgery room.
Chuy's Surgery:
Dr. Songster performed a "cryptorchid" neuter
surgery.  His left testicle was not in his scrotum
- it was buried under the skin in his left groin
area.  Dr. Songster had to make an incision in
the skin and find the testicle in the fatty tissue
under the skin.  After successfully tying off the
spermatic cord and blood supply, she removed
the testicle.  The right testicle could fortunately
be removed "the normal way" - through a small
incision just in front of the scrotum.  Sally
continued to monitor Chuy's anesthesia closely
throughout the procedure.  If Chuy didn't breath
well enough on his own, breaths were given for
him using the anesthetic machine.
Chuy's Recovery:
Sally continued to monitor Chuy as he recovered from the
anesthesia.  After he had regained his swallow reflex, she
removed his endotracheal tube and disconnected his
anesthetic monitors.  She then transported him to the ICU
where he could rest in his kennel.  She adjusted his IV fluids
to a maintenance level and regularly recorded his
temperature, pulse, and respiration rate.  When Chuy was
awake, Jim called his parents with an update.  Chuy was
regularly monitored throughout the afternoon and evening
and he received regularly scheduled pain medication.  His
catheter was removed late in the afternoon and he went for
a walk outside.  Due to his more extensive surgery, Dr.
Songster hospitalized him overnight.  During the overnight
hours, Dr. Songster observed him from a "nanny cam".  Chuy
was ready to go home the next morning.  Jim discharged
Chuy to his parents with complete instructions on how to
take care of Chuy at home.  Chuy's mom and dad learned
how to watch for any problems and how to give Chuy his
pain medication.  Dr. Songster planned to see Chuy back in 2
weeks to be sure he healed well from his surgery.  
Meanwhile, Jim and Sally planned to call Chuy's parents
periodically to be sure all is well.
What's involved in a surgery at Pioneer Paws Veterinary Clinic?
Pioneer Paws Veterinary Clinic, PC,          12399 Olean Rd.,  Ste D                      Fax (716)492-1222
(716)492-1200                                                     Chaffee,   NY,   14030           Email:  pets@pioneerpawsvetclinic.com