Why do IV Fluids with Surgery?


The next time your canine companion needs a surgical procedure, you might want to ask your veterinarian if she or he administers IV fluids during every surgery, no matter how minor. WE ALWAYS DO with dogs and cats!


Dog on IV fluids

A recent study performed at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine points to the importance of administering IV fluids during even minor surgery on pets. This is currently the recommended standard of care, but isn’t practiced routinely in many veterinary hospitals.

For the study, the UPenn researchers focused on the effect of IV fluids on the network of small arterioles, venules, and capillaries that directly feed an animal’s tissues and cells. Collectively this network of small vessels is known as the micro-circulation.

The researchers used a video microscope to capture the blood flow of dogs undergoing spays and discovered that increasing the amount of IV fluid they received improved the number of vessels receiving blood flow.




Monitoring Blood Flow at the Cellular Level

Your dog’s circulatory system transports oxygen and nutrients to the cells and tissues of his body, and removes waste products and carbon dioxide. Arteries and veins travel to and from the heart, lungs, and other organs, and these larger vessels branch off into smaller arterioles and venules that contract and expand to allow blood to flow to and from the capillaries. Cells reside inside the network of tiny capillaries.

Depending on his hydration level, metabolism, hormones, and other factors, your dog’s body can regulate when and how much blood travels to different parts of his circulatory system.

Anesthesia can inhibit the body’s ability to regulate blood pressure, and the combination of fluid loss and anesthetic drugs can result in a decrease in blood flow to and from the cells of your pet’s body.


Inserting IV catheter to give anesthesia and meds through.

According to lead study author Deborah Silverstein, an associate professor at UPenn in the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Clinical Studies:

“When we monitor a patient’s blood pressure or oxygen levels, we’re not always able to discern what is happening at the cellular level. Sometimes there are tissues and cells that are getting a surplus of oxygen while other cells or tissues are in need of more, but our measuring the big things, like blood pressure, doesn’t tell us that. The only way we figure that out is when the patient develops organ dysfunction or new complications arise following anesthesia.”


What Silverstein is saying is that vital sign monitoring procedures used during surgery don’t give a complete picture of how things are going in the cells and tissues fed by the microcirculatory system.

In human medicine, it’s routine during even the most minor surgical procedures to administer an IV drip to offset fluid loss. The same standard of care is recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), however, it isn’t uniformly practiced by all veterinarians, probably because of the added cost.


Tech monitoring pet during surgery


Study Results Indicate That IV Fluids Affect Circulation During Veterinary Surgical Procedures

When they reviewed the videos, the researchers found no differences among the three groups in the number of vessels receiving blood flow or the amount of blood flow. To their surprise, they also found no differences among the groups in the tiny capillaries that are less than 20 micrometers in diameter.

The researchers did, however, see a difference in the blood vessels larger than 20 micrometers. The dogs in the group that received the highest level of fluids had greater densities of these blood vessels than the other two groups.

These results suggest that fluids do affect circulation, but more research is needed to better understand what this information means, as well as the optimal rate of fluid delivery. According to researcher Silverstein:

“The larger vessels are the ones that are constricting and dilating to feed the microcirculation. And it appears that the animals that got the highest rate of fluids in this study – which may not be the optimal rate – are the ones that seemed to have the greatest recruitment of arterioles and venules.”

During their spay surgeries, about a third of the dogs in the study had a drop in blood pressure that required an infusion of fluids, which further emphasizes the need for constant blood pressure monitoring as well as IV fluid support.

Silverstein noted that some of the dogs might have gone into surgery slightly dehydrated after spending the night in the hospital and possibly refusing to eat or drink due to stress.


The Microcirculatory System: So Small, But So Important

The researchers hope to conduct future studies using different types and amounts of IV fluids to test their impact on the microcirculation. She also plans to continue her study of microcirculation in animals with diseases such as sepsis to see if measuring blood flow to the smallest vessels can be used to better detect or predict outcomes. Silverstein says she loves being able to focus on something so small, but so important.

“The microcirculatory system is one of the largest organs in the body but impossible for the naked eye to see.”



Me resting

So there you have it! Why you should make sure your pet ALWAYS gets fluids during surgery! I want to be sure all my friends receive the best care….and this will happen with EVERY surgery at my mommas hospital!

Straight from The Dog’s Mouth,

Love, Sequoia

My dog has MRSP! What does that mean?

Does your furry friend have a skin infection that just doesn’t seem to respond to ANYTHING your vet prescribes?  Has your friend been on a few different antibiotics?  Is the skin infection spreading all over your friend and your friend is uncomfortable? WELL IT’S TIME FOR A SKIN CULTURE!!!

Trust me, this is the best thing to do….I know about this personally….I almost lost all my hair because of MRSP….I’m 14 and my immune system isn’t up to par….my friend Quincy also has this problem.  I’m hoping that this blog can help Quincy find a foster home AND help other furry friends who might have resistant skin infections as well….these skin infections aren’t the end of the world, they just need more progressive care….COME SEE MY MOMMA!  My momma and her staff at Union Park Veterinary Hospital have now successfully treated 5 cases of this IN THE PAST MONTH!!!

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) IS BECOMING VERY PREVALENT DUE TO INDISCRIMANT/”SHOTGUN” ANTIBIOTIC USE in older and immunocompromised pets! 

This bacteria was previously known as Staphylococcus intermedius (MRSI).

MRSP is NOT the same as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which affects humans.


MRSP rash and sores on the belly.



Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is the most common species of bacteria found on dogs. Usually, this bacteria resides on the skin but does not cause any problems.

However, some dogs develop a skin infection (pyoderma) that can usually be cleared with one of the common antibiotics.

A small percentage of dogs may develop skin infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP), which means that the more common antibiotics will not clear the infection.

This bacteria is most common in pets with recurrent skin infections due to underlying causes such as allergies, endocrine diseases, or other reasons for immune compromise (old age, cancer, etc).


Close up of some skin sores.



Staphylococcus pseudintermedius causes infections in pets and only rarely causes infections in people.

However, because this is a more resistant bacteria than the usual bacteria that infects pets, we want to decrease the chance of it being transmitted to you or your family.

The most important thing that you can do is frequent hand-washing after touching your pet and always before meals.

If you or family members are immune compromised, you should either avoid direct contact with your pet or thoroughly wash your hands after handling.

Remember, the risk of transmission to humans is very low. If, however, you develop a non-healing skin wound, please see your physician.


Megan loving on Quincy.

Megan one of our tech’s said “I can love on and interact with Quincy all day. I give her a bath every other day, put ointment on her rash and sores, and scrub her wounds with my bare hands and then just wash them and go home to my pets who don’t have it, and haven’t gotten it because I wash my hands thoroughly.”



The best thing we can do to treat MRSP in your pet, is aggressive topical therapies. It is very important that you follow treatment instructions exactly as given to you so the infection will be cleared.


Quincy’s basic plan.



  1. How did my pet get MRSP?

Similar to human medicine, resistant bacteria are becoming more common in veterinary patients.

We see this bacteria most often in patients with a history of recurrent skin infections and previous antibiotic use.

In order to prevent future infections we will work with you to identify and control the underlying cause (allergies, endocrine disease). We must control the underlying cause in order to reduce skin infection recurrence.

  1. Can my other pets catch this bacteria?

Pets that live together share bacteria. Thus, other dogs or cats in the home may be colonized with MRSP.

As long as the other animals have no underlying diseases that predispose them to skin infections, then the bacteria should not cause problems.

If other pets develop skin lesions, then examination by your regular veterinarian and possible skin culture should be performed to determine if MRSP is the cause.


Quincy says “you can still love me with MRSP!”

There you have it! Dogs that get MRSP, (like me and Quincy) can still be loved and because our humans washed their hands, they didn’t get it and we can be cured of this pesky bacteria!  Remember, any non healing skin wound needs a proper work up which includes a skin culture…not just more oral antibiotics…..

Straight from The Dog’s Mouth,

Love, Sequoia

Lepto What?

Do you hike, camp, backpack with your dog?
Do you take your dog on river trips? Fishing trips? Hunting? My mom takes me! And I love it!!
All it takes is a small amount of leptospirosis (lepto for short) infected water and you and your pet are at risk for leptospirosis which can be costly to treat and fatal if left untreated.

Me playing in the water after a long hike.

Does your pet like to step in a puddle and then lick its paws? Most do….
Does your pet like to drink out of streams and rivers? Most do….
The lepto map IS RED HOT all around Salt Lake City and our adventurous clients need to think about lepto before they head out to the Uintas, Moab, and surrounding Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado wilderness areas with their canine companions.

Some causes of Lepto

Lepto is carried by wildlife vector species who will urinate in a water source and then contaminate that water. Guaranteed wildlife creatures don’t know how to read a map to stay out of Utah….it is likely here…just being unreported. Some of these animals include raccoons, skunks, squirrels, and other wildlife.
Lepto causes liver and kidney failure and is ZOONOTIC!  (People can get it!!)
Why would you put your pet and you at risk when you could just prevent lepto with a vaccine?

Then you can enjoy the outdoors without having to nag your pet all the time to stay out of the water!

Me wondering around camp in the mountains.

Me wondering around camp in the mountains.

There you have it! All the info on Lepto Vaccines!

Straight from The Dog’s Mouth,

Love, Sequoia