Animal Outreach Clinic:  History and Capabilities

During the first few years of Animal Outreach, things were quite rudimentary back then with an older ‘Gas Anesthetizer’, now referred to as ‘antique’ similar to the copper kettle halothane systems of yesteryear.  We were using an EKG for measuring the health of the animal while under anesthesia.  

By the year 2000 we were able to become a bit more sophisticated with the introduction of the modern ‘isoflurane’ system. Isoflurane was approved for medical use in the United States in 1979.  Isoflurane is always administered in conjunction with air or pure oxygen.

Other medications are often used to start anesthesia rather than isoflurane, due to airway irritation with isoflurane.  Pulse-Oximeter’s are now used to measure the blood oxygen levels of the animal during surgery. In 2010 we were able to expand into our present location and thanks to several grants, volunteer labor and the team’s inspiration we were able to build an enhanced surgery center with additional stainless tables, LED ‘shadowless’ illumination, more isoflurane systems (we have four now).  Dental cleaning procedures were added with the addition of high speed dental drill and scalar machine with a dedicated work table.  

PET SPAY AND NEUTER (Call us for a surgery quote!)
Animal Outreach offers low cost spay and neuter services for cats, dogs and rabbits. Each pet will receive anesthesia from a skilled technician and be monitored through the entire process. We also offer additional pain and sedatives to help keep your pet feeling comfortable after the surgery.  
Pets can expect a quick and friendly physical exam to be sure they are healthy enough for vaccinations or additional services.  Due to COVID restrictions, presently we can only offer vaccinations during surgeries but we hope to soon be able to open this up on a larger scale once again.  Vaccines include rattle-snake for dogs, Rabies, Distemper and DHLPP.  Cats may be vaccinated for FVLP, FIV, Leukemia and Rabies.
PET DENTAL SERVICE (Call for information)
Animal Outreach now offers limited low cost dental services for cats and dogs under 40lbs. Each pet will require a pre-exam done by one of our dental specialists, which can be done at our walk-in vaccine clinic when reinstated. Afterwards an appointment will be made and a quote given.  Dentals are much more time consuming and greatly limit the number of other surgeries we can perform.  
Our capacity to perform a given number of surgeries per day is limited generally to no more than ~30 cats and 8-9 dogs per day with two Veterinarians working. If only cats are scheduled the team is able to spay & neuter up to 60 cats on that day.  Dog surgeries are limited to 60lbs or less.  The number of dogs to be scheduled may be limited by the number of pets of a given size and weight scheduled for that day.  Females also take longer and may limit the number of spays in a day.  We are also constrained by the number of ‘surgical packs’ containing sterilized instruments and drapes that we have available for dogs and cats.  Presently we have 30 of the packs for feline procedures and 6 of these packs for dogs.  The surgical instruments in each pack must be sterilized in one of our two autoclaves and the drapes laundered with bleach and detergent before the next operation also somewhat limiting our capacity. We have two main recovery areas, one room for cats with 33 individual recovery cages where related pets may be kept together, and 12 cages in the Dog recovery room.  

Surgeries generally follow the following procedures:

* Each pet will receive anesthesia from a skilled technician and be monitored through the entire process. We also offer additional pain and sedatives to help keep your pet feeling comfortable after the surgery.

* The pet's owner should fast the cat or dog overnight and we request that they are brought in at the requested time on the day of their appointment.  This is generally between 7-9 AM for Cats, and 8-9 AM for Dogs.

* Their stomachs should be empty. They may be nervous, frightened or happy for the attention. Each is an individual. 

* In the prep area, Dogs are given a sedative that soon makes them sleepy & relaxed so there is no more fear or nervousness. When their time for surgery comes, they're taken to a table where they get an IV inserted into a vein in their front leg. Sleepy and relaxed, they don't act like it hurts.  A stronger sedative/anesthetic is slowly injected until they go unconscious. The vet tech gently pulls their tongue to the side and inserts and inflates the endotracheal tube. This cannot be done on a conscious animal due to their resistance and gag reflex. They are NEVER aware when this is done. 

* From there they're taken to Surgery room and laid on their belly. 

* They are then turned over and laid in a V shaped SS form to keep them from rolling over. All four paws are gently tied to the table. They're quickly attached to the anesthesia machine and the syringe is removed from the needle and a saline drip started. The anesthesia is administered along with oxygen and a muscle relaxant. Their breathing and heart-rate is monitored. Some need more or less anesthesia to remain unconscious. 

* They're scrubbed and draped and the surgery is done under sterile conditions. They feel nothing and know nothing from the time the pre-anesthetic takes effect and they "go under". 

* There is no fear or pain. Once surgery is over, the anesthetic is stopped and they get oxygen with ambient room air. 

* They're carefully watched. When they're able to breath well on their own and partly awake, the endotracheal tube is deflated and removed and they are placed in individual kennel cages for further recovery before they are sent home the same day.  Before they wake up, they're generally given a shot of antibiotics and a pain killer. 

*We always recommend that limited food and water be administered in the first 24 hours.  The pet should be kept indoors for that time, and limited activity especially for females for the next several days.  The sutures are self-dissolving with no need for a return visit unless redness, fever, swelling or discharge is noticed and becomes a concern.