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Surgery

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We understand that surgery and anesthesia can be a little scary for both the owner and patient and we do everything possible to make surgery day safe and comfortable for all involved.

Our experienced doctors are proficient at performing a wide range of surgeries including but not limited to spays, neuters, tumor removals, soft tissue and laceration repair, oral, thoracic, abdominal surgeries and exploratories. We also offer specialty surgeries including orthopedic surgery, ear crops, laser declaws (laser required) and many more.

Rest assured that careful attention is paid to every detail when your pet is undergoing anesthesia or any surgical procedure.

  • Complete physical exams and pre-anesthetic blood work are performed and evaluated before any medication is given or anesthesia is induced.
  • The medication used for sedation and anesthesia is chosen based on each individual case. Their 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 that we consider in how to proceed.
  • Our hospital has a well-equipped and separate surgery suite where sterile technique is carefully maintained.
  • During anesthesia and through recovery, there is a trained and observant veterinary technician monitoring your pet's vital signs visually and with sophisticated monitoring equipment.

And if you have ANY questions or concerns after surgery, we will be happy to re-examine your pet at NO CHARGE.

Surgery FAQ's

What is the cost?

Surgery cost varies greatly based on the individual surgery, the pet, the owner’s requests and the doctor’s recommendations. We will be happy to provide you with a treatment plan, prior to any surgery, so you can evaluate all of your options and plan your costs more accurately.

Is Blood Work important before surgery?

  • YES! Blood work helps us to discover things that cannot be seen or felt. It helps to alert us to the presence of dehydration, anemia, infection, diabetes, kidney and/or liver disease and other medical problems that could complicate anesthesia and/or surgery.
  • These tests are similar to those that your physician would run if you were to undergo anesthesia. Also, these tests may be useful as a baseline to help develop a faster and more accurate diagnosis for treatment if your pet's health changes.

Is anesthesia safe?

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 technician monitoring your pet visually and with sophisticated monitoring equipment including heart monitors, pulse oximeters, ECG unit, temperature probes, blood pressure machines, CO2 monitors and more.
  • 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.

Vitals Monitored and Charted:

Core Body Temperature - During anesthesia and surgery, the patient's body temperature may decrease so we constantly monitor them throughout the procedure and during recovery. We use circulating water heater blankets, heat lamps, warmed rice packs and other equipment to maintain their temperature before, during and after anesthesia.

  • O2 (Oxygen) and CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Saturation - Our equipment measures and monitors these levels in the blood stream allowing us to make immediately adjustments if necessary. This is very important for proper brain function.
  • HR (Heart Rate) - Monitored to allow us to maintain the rate within a normal and healthy range.
  • RR (Respiration Rate) - By monitoring the RR and adjusting anesthetic gasses, we will be sure that our patient is always well oxygenated.
  • BP (Blood Pressure) - It assures the patient is maintaining proper circulation and blood flow to the brain, vital organs and peripheral tissues. If the BP is low, IV fluids can be given or increased 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 recognized and corrected.

Is an intravenous (IV) catheter necessary?

IV Catheter: An IV catheter is very important and always recommended during surgery to make the procedure safer. It allows us to infuse fluids containing glucose and electrolytes throughout the anesthesia. Depending on the procedure, length of anesthesia, age and health status of your pet, an IV catheter may be required. An IV catheter and fluids help us to maintain a good blood pressure for your pet, filter their organs and allows for a quicker recovery. It also acts as an immediate port for infusion of any necessary injections if advanced life saving support is necessary.

What about additional procedures?

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. We routinely do FREE toe nail trims while the pet is under anesthesia.

Will there be sutures?

For most surgeries, there will be sutures. These sutures should be removed, at no cost 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.

With any incision, please watch for any redness, swelling or discharge and limit your pet's activity level. Also please help to keep the incision clean and dry until the sutures are removed.

Is pain medication necessary?

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. We usually recommend an anti-inflammatory injection be given to your pet here at the hospital before surgery so they will 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 (OTC) over the counter medications such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol and Aspirin are TOXIC to your pet and therefore should NEVER be given.

When do I Drop off and Pick up my pet?

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 to give us time to discuss important information about your pet and address any questions that you may have.

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. 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.

What are the advantages of Laser (CO2) surgery?

This superior non-scalpel method of cutting the skin and tissues is available on most surgeries for an additional charge. The laser decreases pain by sealing nerve endings, minimizes bleeding, reduces the risk of infections by killing bacteria and since the laser beam of light does not crush or tear tissues, there is less swelling post operatively.

Do I Fast my pet before surgery?

Dogs and Cats - Yes. We usually require fasting from food the night before any anesthesia after 10:00 P.M. Leave the water for them throughout the night but withhold food and water the morning of the surgery. Fasting is very important to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. If your pet in on medication, please call the office so we can discuss whether the medication should or should not be withheld the morning of surgery.

Birds and Exotics - Do NOT fast any birds or exotics the night before surgery.

Different species have different requirements but most should not be faster for more than 2 hours. Please call us to discuss the needs of your specific exotic pet. Also, please remember to bring in your pets food and any special watering dishes so that we can feed them soon after surgery.