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Surgical FAQ's
What You Need to Know Before Your Pet's Upcoming Surgery Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's surgery, and we hope this information will help. It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet's upcoming surgery.
General Surgery FAQ's We do most of our surgeries between Monday and Friday and do emergency surgeries on Saturday and Sunday.  We have a surgeon on Mondays and Thursdays so we try to keep elective surgeries thsat need to be in the surgery suite to a minimum on those days.
What do I need to know before the  surgery?  No food is allowed after midnight the day prior to surgery unless they sare late surgeries.  If the surgery is done in the afternoon, then food can be removed after 3 AM.
The pet should be dropped off by 9 AM for mid day surgery and by noon if surgery is done in the afternoon.  This is to ensure the veterinarian has time to evaluate your pet, place an IV catheter, and run any blood tests prior to the surgery.   Although it may seem inconvenient, it is in the best interest of your pet.
What do I need to know for surgery? Most surgeries take betwen 1 hour to 2 hours to perform.  Most of this time is preperation time to make sure they are healthy, the anesthesia equipment is ready, and that everything that is needed for the surgery.
What do I need to know for after surgery? The pet will generally stay the night following most surgeries.  There are a couple of reasons for this protocol.  We like to monitor them to make sure there are not any complications.  Occasionaly some animals will be more painful than normal after the surgery.  Some animals recover more slowly and are reluctant to eat, so we like to make sure they are ok before sending them home. On the other side, some animals are barely affected by the surgery so conifnement in a small space is beneficial for them.
There are usually stitches in place following surgery.  If there are external stitches then they will need to be removed once the incision heals.  This should done 10-14 days after the surgery.  This can be done as an appointment or it can be done as a run in back technician appointment.  Some stitches, however, do not need to be removed because they dissolve slowly over time.  If no sutures can be seen at the incision site then nothing needs to be done.  They are buried underneath the skin.  If you have any questions. we will tell you which stitches were in place and what needs to be done.
After discharge there are a couple "red flags" to look for? It is normal for an animal to sleep more than normal for the first 24-48 hours.  The surgery is a stress on the body and the requirement to stay hospitalized can be a stress.  They also probably did not sleep well while in the hospital.  There are a few things to look for which are a more serious concern:
  • Extreme lethargy - you should be able to wake them up and interact with them.  If they are difficult to rouse and still quiet and weak that is as concern.
  • Swellings - Occasionally there will be a fluid swelling after surgery.  If it is clear fluid it is called a seroma and will usually go away with time.  Sometimes, they will need to be drained.  Sometimes, a swelling can be a concern and need to be addressed.