We perform a wide variety of surgical procedures and take great pride in our ability to provide your pet with a safe surgical experience. Using the most up to date technology, our veterinarians perform not only spays and neuters, but are also skilled at performing cystotomies (removal of bladder stones), foreign body removals, growth removals, eye and ear surgeries and more. Our surgical laser is used to speed healing. We include nail trims with every surgery.
We are committed to educating our clients about the importance of routine dental care for all our patients. We have a fully equipped, dental surgical suite in our hospital in addition to our main surgical area. Our dental services include routine teeth cleaning and polishing, digital dental X-rays, tooth extractions and minor oral surgery.
The following information will help you prepare for your pet's surgery. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to call us with any questions.
What Do I Need to Do To Prepare My Pet For Before and After Surgery?
For the safety of your pet, other hospitalized animals, and our staff, all animals that come in for surgery are required to be current on vaccines and have had a stool check. Required vaccines, at least 7 days prior to surgery, include distemper, rabies, and Bordetella for dogs. Dogs must also have a negative heartworm test before being anesthetized. Cats must be current on distemper and rabies at least 7 days prior to surgery.
It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting (which could lead to aspiration) during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food after 10pm the night before surgery. Water can be given.
We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery appointment, to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have. The morning of surgery, we ask that patients arrive between 7-7:30am. Please allow 10-20 minutes to fill out paperwork and have a veterinary technician/assistant or doctor discuss the procedure with you.
Scheduled surgical procedures are performed Monday through Friday. A doctor or technician will contact you as soon as your pet awake from surgery. At this time, we will also let you know what time your pet can be picked up. For most routine procedures, patients are alert and ready to go home the same afternoon, however we do offer an overnight stay for more complicated procedures which is included in the surgical cost. Should you take your pet home the same day of surgery, we advise bringing them back the next morning for a post-surgical check.
When you pick up your pet after surgery, plan to spend about 15 minutes with one of our technicians or assistants. They will answer any questions you have and go over your pet's home care needs such as feeding instructions, medications and any activity restrictions. We ask that you keep your pet calm and quiet for 7-14 days post op depending on the procedures. We want to make sure the tissue has time to heal and no damage to the area takes place.
How Is The Safety of My Animal Maintained During Anesthesia?
Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. We take every precaution to ensure your pet will have a safe anesthetic experience. Your pet receives a physical exam before administering anesthetics. We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet.
A highly trained veterinary technician or veterinary assistant is with our doctors for every surgery and every dental procedure. Your pet's temperature, oxygen saturation level, heart rate and other vital signs are monitored from the time your pet is anesthetized until they are fully awake.
We feel strongly that blood work prior to surgery is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Therefore, as part of the surgical experience, every dog and cat undergoing a surgical procedure will receive this testing. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that could cause anesthetic or surgical complications; these problems often cannot be detected without blood testing. If serious problems are found, surgery can be postponed until the problem is addressed.
We also start each animal on IV fluids during the surgery. We will shave a small spot on the front leg for the placement of the catheter, and we will also shave and clean the surgical area. IV fluids help keep your pet's blood pressure normal throughout the procedure. An IV catheter already in place is also extremely beneficial should your pet experience an anesthetic emergency which would require immediate intravenous medication. Core body temperature drops following the induction of general anesthesia, so we take all precautions to monitor body temperature both during surgery and the recovery process.
How Is My Pet's Pain Addressed?
Providing whatever pain relief is appropriate is the humane and caring thing to do for your pet. Recent advances in pain medications have allowed for better and safer pain control than ever before. After surgery, oral pain medication is provided to all patients based on appropriate level of need. Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they often don't whine or cry, but that doesn't mean that they are not feeling pain. Pain medications dispensed will depend on the surgery performed. However, we always make every effort to take each individual animal's pain tolerance into consideration when prescribing the type and duration of pain control. Animals receive pain medication prior to surgical onset to help prevent pain before it even starts.
Will My Pet Have Stitches?
Many surgeries require skin stitches. If there are pink skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. Some surgeries use absorbable sutures in, or underneath, the skin. These will dissolve and do not need to be removed. With either type of suture, you need to watch the incision for swelling or discharge as well as monitor whether the pet is licking or chewing at the incision. In some cases we send your pet home with a bodyguard collar that he/she wears around the neck. Often known as the cone of shame, we prefer to call it a 'party hat."