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No one likes the thought of their pet undergoing surgery, but we know there are certain problems that require surgical intervention to solve. Before surgery your veterinarian should inform you of the risks and the benefits of the surgical procedure. Make sure you understand these factors in advance.

You will be instructed to withhold food from your pet after 10:00pm the night before surgery. If your pet is currently on medication consult with your veterinarian regarding giving medication the morning of surgery.

Each animal is given a thorough physical exam prior to any surgical procedure. Pre-surgical testing is often recommended to ensure your pet’s safety by uncovering internal problems that may no have been apparent on physical exam. Depending on the age and condition of your pet the recommended tests may include:

  • Blood profile to assess your pet’s ability to eliminate the anesthetic agents
  • Urinalysis-to evaluate for urinary tract infection and kidney function
  • Radiographs may be required to evaluate heart function or in the case of a broken bone
  • Electrocardiogram: EKG helps to monitor the electrical impulses in the heart
  • Other test may also be appropriate depending on your pet’s condition

We currently use the most advanced anesthetic agents available. All surgery is performed with sterile instruments and gloves, just as in human surgical rooms. Separate sterile instrument packs are used for each animal. Surgical heart and respiratory monitors are used throughout the procedure to ensure your pet’s safety.

Post Operative Care

The following will help answer the most common questions that arise after these operations.


An animal’s pain threshold is much higher than a human’s. Therefore, animals do not exhibit as much discomfort following surgery.


Animals will often lick at the site of the incision. This is usually due to itching caused by being closely shaven. Occasionally it can be a result of irritation from the suture material. You can be supplied with a bitter tasting cream that can be applied directly to the incision if licking becomes a problem. A bandage can be applied over the incision of females if the cream does not help. An Elizabethan (“cone”) collar can also be used if needed.


A small amount of sepage will occasionally occur at the incision site. This happens because of blood pooling under the skin. When the animal moves, a drop or two will discharge through the sutures. If bleeding is excessive or continues for more than 12 hours, please notify us.


Occasionally a hard lump will appear at the site of the incision. This is often due to the body reacting to the suture material or can be a result of blood pooling under the skin. If it gets noticeably large, please call. When the external sutures are removed, the lump quickly disappears


Each animal recovers from the anesthetic at a different rate. Some animals are back to normal within 24 hours while others may take as long as 3-4 days to recuperate. Your pet will not be discharged from the hospital if he/she is unable to walk out. However, some animals may still stagger slightly upon release. We feel that your pet will recover from surgery faster if the convalescent time is spent at home.


Do not feed your pet for at least three (3) hours after returning home. Food for the first 24 hours should be limited to 1/4 the normal amount. During the second day, offer normal amounts of food at the accustomed times. Excitement and overfeeding can cause vomiting.


All external sutures will be removed in ten (10) days. Cat castrations do not require a suture appointment. Notify the Center if any of the following occur:
  • Vomiting after 24 hours
  • Diarrhea
  • Refusal to eat after 48 hours.
  • Severe pain
  • Any evidence of bleeding
  • Continuous licking or pulling at the sutures