Bellevue Veterinary Hospital, Parksville

(250) 248-2031


Pre-operative Considerations for Routine Surgeries

 Pre-op Considerations for Routine Surgeries:

Routine (or "elective") surgeries are those procedures that are not urgent. There's no rush to have them done immediately.  (The word "routine" doesn't mean we don't take them seriously.  It just refers to the lack of urgency in timing.)  Examples are spaying & neutering, as well as most dental procedures. Some lump removals are in this category too. So, there’s time for you and your vet to think ahead, and consider some pre-operative options.                                               

bellevue frame pre op blog

Here are some questions you may be asked at the time of your pet’s admission to hospital for a surgical procedure:

1. Would you like to have pre-anesthetic blood work performed?

This is our way of having a deeper glimpse into the health of your pet, beyond the physical exam.  The blood tests will reveal the numbers and characteristics of red and white blood cells, plus platelets (the blood clotting cells).  Also the chemistry portion of the panel demonstrates some hints into kidney & liver health, as well as blood sugar, proteins, and electrolytes.  These indices can guide our decision to go ahead with the anesthesia or not, and/or could alter which medications we'll choose for your pet. Sometimes blood test results suggest conditions that might need some follow-up.

2. Would you like to have a pre-op ECG (electrocardiogram) performed?

An ECG tracing can be obtained and electonically sent to a cardiologist prior to anesthesia.  After analyzing the ECG, the cardiologist responds promptly with comments and recommendations for medications to consider or avoid during anesthesia.  Sometimes this test leads us to consider additional testing, but very often it just gives us confidence or specifications regarding our anesthetic plan for the patient.

3. Would you like to have an ID number tattooed into your pet’s (right) ear?

a. This procedure requires general anesthesia, so it’s only offered when we already know the patient is going to be heavily asleep for another procedure.
b. This ID# is a code, identifying the clinic at which the pet was spayed/neutered & tattooed, and it also indicates the year it was done, and the # of that patient within that year at that clinic.
c. It is a code that is recognizable throughout BC vet clinics and SPCAs.
d. A tattoo is an inexpensive, low-tech, easily evident identifier on your pet, if he/she is ever lost. 
e. There is minimal discomfort with this procedure.
f. Your contact information must be kept up-to-date at the clinic where your pet was tattooed (even if you don’t go to that clinic anymore).
g. Unfortunately, the code is less likely to be correctly interpreted outside of BC.

4. Would you like to have a microchip implanted in your pet?

a. This can be done at any time and doesn’t require general anesthesia, but it’s just easier for the pet if under anesthesia, so it can be considered at the time of another procedure.
b. The microchip is injected just under the skin, around the back of the neck between the shoulder blades, and has a number that can be revealed by a microchip reading (scanning) device.
c. The number will be associated with your contact information that will be stored at a central database.  You have to keep your own contact information current (by communicating with the company web site for the microchip).
d. This will allow anyone (anywhere in the world) to find your contact information and inform you of your pet’s whereabouts, if your pet is found by someone who has access to a microchip reader/scanner (SPCA, vets & various other animal welfare organizations.)  
e. The disadvantage of microchips is – you need to have a microchip scanner.  This isn’t a common piece of equipment outside of an animal care facility, so sometimes it’s not found that the pet has a microchip.

Pre-procedure Questionnaire

Consent Form Questions:

This general questionnaire includes questions/info we may have, at the time you drop off your pet for their procedure.  It is not necessary for you to reply in advance, but it may be helpful to consider these things ahead of time, especially if you prefer to speed things up, at admitting time.


2. Is the pet fasted?
Cats and dogs should have no food for 8 hours prior to admission, but water is OK right up to time of admitting;
exceptions: bunnies [and any animals under 2kg body weight] are NOT fasted.

3. Has there been any change to your pet’s health recently? Anything new that we should know about? (loss of appetite, unintended weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, cough, or any other symptoms of illness?)

4. If your pet is female, & coming in to be spayed, has there been a recent heat? How long ago? Could she be pregnant? Have there been previous litters?

5. Is your pet on a flea preventative?  They will receive a flea treatment (effective for 24-36 hours) if we find fleas on them.  There will be a charge for this.  Ideally this is to prevent flea infestation of any patient staying in the hospital at the same time.
Please let us know if you have questions about flea products. There are longer duration products we can discuss and set up, if you wish. 

6. We will ask you about additional tests/procedures while your pet is in our care?
-where applicable:

Pre-op bloodwork?  (recommended before anesthesia, but usually optional)

Tattoo while under anesthesia?
- for identification in case your pet goes wandering, but not easy to trace outside of the province

- for further identification in case your pet goes missing - effective I.D. for travel outside of the province

7. Is your pet on raw food? (Some of our staff are at potential risk when exposed to these animals and we need to be alerted to that.)

8. Does your pet have any medical conditions or allergies? On any medications? Have any special feeding requirements?

9. Is your pet up-to-date on vaccinations?

These are some questions we might need to ask at the time your pet is admitted for a procedure. Perhaps some of the answers are already evident in our records, but when that's not the case, we'll need to update our information.

And yes, we DO trim nails (if needed) while they are under anesthesia (no charge).



Bellevue Vet Clinic Pet SurgeryOur veterinarians perform a wide variety of surgical procedures, and our clinic has modern, state of the art anesthetic and monitoring equipment to increase the safety to our patients. Surgical patients are:

  • on intravenous fluids,
  • have blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and various other vital parameters closely monitored,
  • on water-heated beds during surgery and recovery
  • given pre-emptive multi-modal pain control and also monitored for any hints of break-through pain so that medications can be promptly and appropriately tweaked/added.

The health, comfort, and safety of each patient is our greatest priority.