Buster's Castration

Below are a series of photo’s taken during the routine castration of Buster at our Dalston branch.

First of all Buster is given a thorough pre operative examination which includes listening to his heart and chest and also taking his temperature. By doing this we can identify any problems that might affect his anaesthetic so we can modify his anaesthetic regime accordingly. If necessary further tests can be instigated for example blood tests, these are particularly useful in older or ill patients.
Buster is weighed so that we can accurately calculate the amount of each of the drugs he needs. He is then injected with a premed – this includes pain killers, antibiotics (if necessary) and sedatives. The premed is designed to calm the patient, and reduce the amount of anaesthetic agent needed. Premeds lead to a smoother anaesthetic and recovery.

A small patch of hair is clipped on Buster’s foreleg so that an intravenous catheter can be placed into his leg. This gives us access to his venous system so that the anaesthetic agent can be easily injected and also means that we can quickly give any other drugs that might be needed.
After the premed has had time to take effect (20-40 minutes) the anaesthetic agent is injected through the catheter and within seconds Buster falls asleep.

Once Buster is asleep an orange tube is placed into his windpipe (an endotracheal tube) This protects his airway and allows us to connect his breathing to an anaesthetic machine that provides a mixture of oxygen and anaesthetic gas that keeps him anaesthetised.
Buster is laid on his back and the surgical site is clipped.

Next, the surgical site is scrubbed with a special solution to clean the area. It is vital the area is as clean as possible to minimise infections.
Buster – clipped, cleaned and ready to go!

Meanwhile the surgeon scrubs their hands and puts on a hat, sterile gown and sterile gloves.
Buster’s anaesthetic is closely monitored by one of our Qualified Veterinary Nurses. The nurse is monitoring Buster’s breathing, heart rate, pulse, membrane colour, oxygen saturation, exhaled carbon dioxide and depth of anaesthesia. Careful monitoring ensures that any problems are detected quickly and keeps Buster on an even plane of anaesthesia.

We use several different anaesthetic monitors to help the nurses this one measures pulse rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation and exhaled carbon dioxide. 
A sterile drape is used to cover the patient apart from the surgical site to avoid contamination. Next the first incision is made.

Both testicles are removed through one incision and the blood vessels are tied tightly with a special sterile suture material before being cut.
The wound is then stitched together using more sterile suture material. In this case a technique that involves hiding the stitches under the skin is used, this means that stitches cannot be seen from the outside. Hidden stitches reduce the chances of dogs licking their wounds. 

The surgery is now complete and leaves a small wound with no visible sutures.
While Buster starts to wake up from his anaesthetic the nurse watches him closely. Buster is kept warm using blankets and bubble wrap; there is also a heat pad underneath him. The endotracheal tube stays in place until Buster’s swallow reflex recovers then it is removed.

Once Buster has started to recover his reflexes he is placed back in his kennel to fully recover where he will be monitored until he is back up on his feet. Usually dogs will stand up within an hour and are ready to go home within three or four hours.