All of our vets offer surgical appointments. Before surgery, your pet will need to have an appointment with your vet so we can be sure that he is up-to-date on all required treatments, and so the doctor can assess his physical condition and surgical needs. Our doctors offer elective surgeries for spaying/neutering cats & dogs, dental cleanings and extractions, declawing cats, removing dogs' rear dewclaws, and performing canine gastropexy. We do not offer ear or tail cropping. We also offer many surgical treatments as well. Some examples would be growth removals, canine patellar luxation correction, cruciate ligament repair, cherry eye surgery, splenectomy, cystotomy, and in extreme cases even limb amputation. If your pet should need a surgery that we can not perform in the clinic your doctor will refer you to an appropriate specialist.
When your pet is scheduled for surgery (or any procedure that will require them to be anesthetized), please withhold food after 10 PM the night before. If an animal vomits during surgery, they run the risk of developing aspiration pneumonia, which can be very dangerous. By keeping your pet's stomach empty, you minimize the chance of this complication. You can give your pet small amounts water after the 10 PM deadline.
The day of surgery you will drop your pet off with us when we open at 8 AM. A veterinary technician or assistant will go over the surgery check-in form with you, so please plan on spending 15-20 minutes with us. Depending on your pet's age and the type of surgery he is having, your veterinarian may recommend that we run a blood test before administering anesthesia to check for any underlying health conditions that may represent an additional risk. During most surgeries we will also recommend IV fluids be administered. This is a standard practice in human medicine, and we recommend it because it helps your pet maintain a healthy blood pressure during surgery, as well as providing immediate access should we need to give any intravenous drugs. While these procedures do carry an extra cost, our vets only recommend them to help ensure your pet's health and safety.
Most routine surgical procedures (except feline declaw) do not require your pet to spend the night in the hospital. Following surgery, we will ask that you call in the afternoon to get a pick-up time; most pets recover very well and are ready to go home by 4:30 or 5 PM. The clinic closes at 6 PM, so if you're unable to pick up your pet the same day, we can make arrangements for him to stay with us overnight. Other surgeries take longer to recover from, and your pet will need to be hospitalized overnight so we can monitor him and help provide him the best path to recovery. Your doctor should be able to tell you if an overnight stay will be required before you schedule the surgery.
When you come to pick up your pet you will receive a handout explaining the necessary after-care for your pet's surgery. A technician or assistant will go over medications and after-surgery care, and will answer any questions you might have. During this time, we may let you know that the vet is sending an e-collar home with you. While nobody likes the "cone of shame," we strongly urge you to make sure your pet is wearing it any time you are not directly supervising him. We only send a cone home when we have noticed that your pet is interested in licking or scratching the surgical site. Using the e-collar helps prevent this behavior, and without it your pet may run the risk of serious infection or other complications. In some cases pets can even require additional surgery to repair damage done to the original surgical site. Your little buddy will get used to the cone after a few hours, and the annoyance is far better than the risks associated with re-opening a surgical site!