Surgical Information

Our surgical care and post-surgical monitoring are top priority and that is why we set aside an entire day for surgery only.

What Can I Expect On Surgery Day?

If your pet is here for an elective procedure, such as spaying, neutering, or dental cleaning, you can expect a post-procedure call from the doctor or technician, usually by mid- to late afternoon. Please keep in mind that we see several pets for procedures each day, and we want to make sure all of our patients get the attention they deserve while here.

What Are the Usual Post-Surgical Concerns?

Post-surgical concerns are chilling, vomiting, pain, and scratching and chewing the incision(s). Body temperature monitoring begins in surgery and continues thru the post-op period. Blankets and heating pads are utilized as needed.

Though unfortunate, mild vomiting is common and expected with anesthesia. If it persists, however, we utilize anti-vomiting medications.

Pain management is perhaps our biggest concern. Appropriate levels of anesthesia are used to allow the animal no discomfort during surgery, yet not endanger the animal. Pain management continues into the post- surgical period with oral or injectable pain medications. Depending on your animal’s procedure or response to pain, you may receive pain medication to take home. Left untreated, pain may actually interfere with the healing process. We don’t begin to anticipate an animal’s pain tolerance—they’re all different just as we are. It is the ethical standard of our practice that we administer pain medication. If you have any special concerns here, please let us know.

What Extra Precautions Might Be Taken?

If we experience a difficulty with your animal’s surgery, or otherwise deem it necessary because of a pre-existing medical condition, we will utilize oxygen therapy, intravenous fluid and medical therapy, heart and respiratory monitoring, and blood pressure monitoring.

We also don’t anticipate how strongly an animal may be driven to “bother” their own incision or bandage. Though uncommon, some begin to chew or scratch at their incision before they’re even fully awake. Others are absolute angels while here, then start on their incision or bandages as soon as they arrive home. If you know your animal to be a “chewer” or fairly intolerant of bandages, please let us know. It would be very helpful.

When Might My Pet Go Home?

Most dental patients are discharged the same day, while most surgical patients will stay overnight for their safety and comfort. In the morning, the doctor determines if they are able to go home, and the animal will be ready for discharge at 9:00. Please allow us this time to evaluate your pet before your arrival. When you arrive, a technician will go over any discharge instructions and necessary medications.

Again, dismissal is between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Late pick up charge is $5. Remember that full payment is required.

Author: Diane Noll, D.V.M.

Copyright 2010. Updated 2/2012.