"All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."
George Orwell, Animal Farm
Optimal health care for your pet requires a trust between the patient, veterinarian, and client. Our goal is to have you confident and knowledgeable about:
- your pet's care
- the skill and knowledge of the people looking after your pet
- the facilities and equipment here at AMH
As part of this goal, this website has many areas that allow you to see into the "hidden" areas of the hospital. You can see written and photographic descriptions of anesthetic procedures and the things that happen when your pet is here for surgical or dental procedures (Virtual Surgery). We have photos of the "back" areas of the hospital on the Virtual Tour page. We have a web page that discusses what you should be looking for when it comes to anesthetic and surgical safety. As well, all clients are welcome to ask for a tour of the hospital and will be accommodated at any time.
We have an open policy regarding patient care. We want our clients to know what we do and how we do it, in the spirit of fostering trusting relationships and good patient care. We also want you to know how we treat our own animals when we have them in for procedures. How could we advocate excellent medical, anesthetic and surgical protocols for our own pets, and do any less for our patients?
To forward this goal, we present here our standards concerning the care of your pets (our patients). For those of you who are looking for a veterinarian, feel free to use these standards as a comparison with other practices.
Every patient experiencing pain receives adequate medication to alleviate that pain.
Every patient undergoing a surgical procedure receives pain medications before anesthesia or surgery.
Any surgery, including elective surgeries (spay and neuter) has the potential to be painful; we do not ignore pain just because a procedure is routine.
Pain is not a function of economics. We will not forego pain medications in order to make any surgery less expensive. We do use the most economical medications that will be adequate for a given situation.
Only Registered Veterinary Technologists or qualified, licensed Doctors of Veterinary Medicine give anesthetic drugs.
Every patient undergoing general anesthesia has an intravenous catheter in place and is on intravenous fluids.
Patients are always intubated when they have a general anesthetic or heavy sedation.
Every animal under anesthesia is monitored by a trained staff member from the moment of induction until recovery.
Blood pressure, pulses, respiration, anesthetic levels, fluid delivery and other parameters are continuously monitored and recorded.
Only qualified, licensed Doctors of Veterinary Medicine perform surgery.
Surgical instruments are never "shared" between patients. A sterile, freshly opened set of surgical instruments is utilized for every patient.
Surgery takes place in a separate, enclosed operating room, away from general hospital traffic.
Surgeons wear new caps, masks, sterile gowns, and sterile gloves any time they perform sterile surgery.
Sterile individual packaged suture material are used for all internal sutures.
Regarding patient comfort:
Patients in the hospital have warm, comfortable accommodations with blankets and mattresses as required.
Cats and dogs are housed in separate rooms whenever possible.
All steps are taken to relieve patient anxiety, including anti-anxiety medications and having patients cared for at home whenever possible and appropriate for their condition.
For dogs, routine "wellness" visits to the hospital should be as fun as possible. This doesn't always happen, but it is one of our goals.
In the case of cats, the visit is unlikely to be fun but should at least be as stress-free as we can make it.