Surgery cost varies greatly based on the individual surgery, the pet, the owner’s requests and the doctor’s recommendations.
If you would like a Treatment Plan, we would be happy to provide one and discuss all of your options.
Although we do free toe nail trims while the pet is under anesthesia, this is the perfect time to do any other elective procedures. This will often save you time and money and be safer and easier on your pet. Examples of additional procedures that may be appropriate include dentistry, tumor removal, vaccines, ear exam/cleaning/ear hair removal, microchip implant or anal sac expression.
For most surgeries, there will be sutures. We always use absorbable sutures underneath the skin layer and slow dissolving sutures for the upper layer of skin. These sutures should be removed, at no charge to you, approximately 14 days after the surgery. As a generalization, dog spays will require a suture removal while dog neuters, cat spays and cat neuters DO NOT. All other procedures, such as a tumor removal, DO require sutures to be removed. We will send home post-op instructions with details regarding your pet's surgery and recovery needs.
With any incision, please watch for any redness, swelling or discharge. Please limit your pet's activity level and keep the incision clean and dry until the sutures are removed.
Recognizing and treating pain is a hallmark of good patient care and is the humane and caring thing to do. Animals do not usually whine or cry with pain but you can be sure that animals DO feel pain and discomfort under the same circumstances as we do.
Pain management helps recovery as it can expedite healing post surgery. We usually recommend an anti-inflammatory injection be performed so they wake up more comfortably. We can also send home oral medications to continue with pain relief for the first few days. The medication chosen is on a case by case basis. Many over the (OTC) over the counter medications such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol and Aspirin are toxic to your pet and therefore should not be used.
Drop off ~ Unless told otherwise, we ask that all surgical patients be dropped off between 7:30 - 8:00 A.M. Please allow about 15 minutes for this process as important information must be obtained and special requests from you can be conveyed.
Pick up ~ Please also allow another 15 minutes for evening pick up to discuss post operative instructions. After anesthesia, we ask you to pick up your pet late in the afternoon as we like to monitor them throughout the day and allow them plenty of time to recover. Some anesthetic procedures will be performed in the morning while others will be performed in the early afternoon. Please be prepared to pick up your pet between 4:00 - 5:15 P.M., unless other arrangements have been made. Keep in mind, the longer the pet stays with us, the more awake and stable they will be when you take them home.
- Although anesthetic emergencies can occur, they are extremely rare due to the protocols that we follow, closely monitoring of our patients by our trained team and the medications that we choose.
- Complete physical exams and pre-anesthetic blood work are performed and evaluated before any medication is given or anesthesia is induced. The medication we use for sedation and to induce anesthesia is chosen based on each individual case. Their recent blood results, age, procedure to be performed, medical status, species, ECG results, body weight, body condition score compared to their ideal weight, breed sensitivities and cardiac function are just a few factors in this important decision.
- During anesthesia and through recovery, there is a trained and observant veterinary assistant/technician monitoring your pet visually and with sophisticated monitoring equipment. The equipment is programmed with alarms to go off if any values fall out of the ideal ranges.
- We use Isoflurane gas to maintain our patients under anesthesia and our anesthetic machines are carefully inspected and calibrated annually by certified anesthetic specialists.
- All of these steps ensure that anesthesia is as safe as possible.
We do a thorough physical examination including weight and body condition scoring, body temperature, heart and respiration rates. This lets us know how your pet is doing the morning of the procedure and if any changes need to be addressed prior to anesthesia.
- For your pet's safety, all patients undergoing an anesthetic procedure will receive blood test screening. All animals from young to old and those that appear healthy upon physical examination can have underlying and life threatening health problems. Blood work is necessary to evaluate their organs and can therefore show abnormalities within the liver and kidneys specifically. These two organs are primarily responsible for metabolizing the medications used and adjustments can be made in medications and fluid administration when abnormal values are noted. Blood screening also determines the patient's hydration status, if immunosuppressed, anemic or has any blood-clotting problems.
- If the values are abnormal, the anesthetic drugs and pain medications chosen may be changed or the procedure may be postponed or altered. If the values are within normal limits, they establish an excellent baseline for the future if your pet becomes ill. Due to the sophisticated testing equipment we have on site, we can perform these tests on the same day of the surgery or days in advance.
- Several levels of blood screenings can be selected amongst and vary based on the amount of information that they provide and the price. The more extensive blood panels give us a broader base to evaluate your pet and are important for all patients. This is especially true for our critical patients, those undergoing long surgeries, older pets and those in a higher risk category. These options will be discussed with you when you bring your pet in for surgery.
Depending on the procedure, length of anesthesia, age and health status of your pet, a catheter may be required for the procedure. An IV catheter is required in all critical cases and highly recommended in ALL anesthetic procedures. An IV catheter allows us to infuse fluids with electrolytes and other additives throughout the anesthesia. This helps to maintain a good blood pressure, filter the organs and allows for a quicker recovery. It also allows an immediate port for infusion of any necessary injections if advanced life saving support is necessary.
Monitoring of Anesthesia:
Monitoring of all vital signs on a patient is crucial, as it enables us to intervene early if an anesthetic complication occurs. Vital signs are monitored both visually by our trained team AND with several pieces of equipment. We utilize a Cardell heart monitor, Pulse oximeters, ECG unit, temperature probes, blood pressure machines and (of course) stethoscopes to carefully monitor your pet.
Vitals Monitored and Charted:
- Core Body Temperature - During anesthesia and surgery, the patient's body temperature may drop and lead to a prolonged recovery or even a life threatening situation. We therefore use circulating water heater blankets, heat lamps and warmed rice packs to maintain their temperature before, during and after anesthesia and monitor temperature constantly throughout the procedure and recovery.
- O2 (Oxygen) and CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Saturation - Our equipment measures and monitors these levels in the blood stream allowing us to make any necessary adjustments. This is very important for proper brain function.
- HR (Heart Rate) - Monitored to allow us to keep the rate within a normal and healthy range. If the HR is either too fast or too slow, a complication may occur.
- RR (Respiration Rate) - By monitoring the RR and adjusting anesthetic gasses, we can be sure that the patient is getting oxygen into their lungs as well as the rest of their body.
- BP (Blood Pressure) - It assures the patient is maintaining proper circulation and blood flow to the brain, vital organs and peripheral tissues. Intravenous fluid levels can be adjusted to help stabilize the BP.
- Heart Rate & Rhythm - The rate and rhythm of the heart beat is carefully monitored on an ECG (Electrocardiogram) unit so any adverse reactions can be visualized and acted upon.
Do I fast my pet before surgery?
Dogs and Cats - Yes. We usually require fasting from food the night before any anesthesia. This means no food after 10:00 P.M. and pick up the water when you get up in the morning. Fasting is very important to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia.
Birds and Exotics - Do NOT fast any birds or exotics the night before surgery. Remove food and water the morning of the procedure(s) and remember to bring in enough food for the day and any special watering dishes.