Day of Surgery

Surgery day - How you can help

  • Follow the veterinarian’s pre-operative instructions precisely. Pets may not have any food after 9 p.m. the night prior to surgery. They can have water until the morning of the surgery.
  • Let us know of any prescription and non-prescription medications your pet receives.The presence of some medications may affect the decision regarding your pet’s surgery and anesthetic protocol.

Hospital admission is from 7 to 8am

  • Pets not dropped off the night before should arrive between 7 and 8 a.m. Patient check-in and paper-work will take a few minutes. For routine surgeries, owners may opt to have us run additional blood work, use a different gas anesthesia, or implant a HomeAgain® microchip on their pets.
  • It is important to provide a reliable phone number during the surgery drop-off interview. This is the number the veterinary staff will use to notify of changes during and after the procedure.
  • Leave your pet with us, and proceed to normal daily activities. We will call when the surgery is over.

In hospital pre-operative care preparations: 8 to 10am*

  • Veterinary surgical nursing staff will obtain a weight and temperature on your pet.
  • They draw blood for pre-surgical lab work run on our in-house laboratory equipment. This testing ensures the patient’s liver and kidney functions are optimal for anesthesia administration.
  • A veterinarian will study lab results and perform a complete pre-surgical examination.
  • We shave an area on the front leg, or in some cases, the back leg, and place an intravenous catheter for inducing anesthesia and giving intra-operative fluids.

The surgery timeline: 10am to 4pm*

  • These instructions pertain primarily to elective surgeries such as canine spays and neuters and feline spays, neuters and declaws. In some cases, the veterinarian will remove lumps and masses when the patient is having an elective procedure.
  • Trained veterinary medical staff induce anesthesia with an injectable anesthetic, then intubate the pet and maintain gas anesthesia under the veterinarian’s close supervision.
  • The veterinary surgical staff shave and prepare the surgery site(s) on the pet.
  • The veterinarian scrubs for surgery and dons a sterile gown and gloves. While the veterinarian is sterile, he/she remains in the operating room until the surgery is complete.
  • We transport your pet from the preparation area to the surgical suite, and surgery begins.
  • To ensure safety throughout the procedure, veterinary technicians monitor and record your pet’s vital signs using a pulse oximeter and stethoscope.

Post-operative in hospital care

  • While the pet is in a recovery area, a veterinary technician continues to monitor vital signs.
  • When the pet is awake enough, we assign him/her to a cage for further recovery, remove the intra-venous catheter and apply a temporary pressure bandage.
  • A veterinary technician calls the pet owner with a report, and a general pick-up time.
  • To ensure optimal safety, all patients are kept under observation until fully recovered. Contact us if you do not receive a call by 4:30 p.m.
  • When you arrive to take your pet home, a veterinary technician will explain discharge instructions. Please ask any questions you have at that time.

What to expect after surgery

  • Most elective surgery patients go home the day of surgery after the veterinary staff determines the pet is stable. The exception is feline declaw patients, which stay overnight.
  • Your pet may not want to eat, drink, urinate or defecate in the 24 hours after surgery. Have food and water available, and please call us if the pet does not resume eating, drinking, and bodily functions after 24 hours post surgery.
  • Sleepiness and lethargy are normal in the 24 hours following surgery. Your pet underwent a major surgery, and the recovery period is different for each animal.
  • If your pet licks or chews on the incision site, you will need to purchase an Elizabethan Collar to prevent irritation. Monitor the incision daily for swelling and discharge. If you are in doubt about what is normal, please call us.

*Emergency cases take precedence over elective surgeries, and may change the surgery schedule.

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