Walnut Creek Veterinary Clinic offers a variety of routine surgical services, including spay/neuter, lump/tumor biopsy and removal, and hernia repair. Our veterinarians are also skilled in cystotomy, splenectomy, abdominal exploratory and other advanced soft tissue surgeries.
We understand that it can be stressful when your pet needs surgery. The skilled, experienced veterinarians and staff at Walnut Creek Veterinary Clinic will walk you through every step of the procedure and answer any questions you may have when your pet needs to have a surgical procedure.
Here is some basic information about what to expect. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have further questions or concerns.
Is anesthesia safe?
Today’s modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. Here at Walnut Creek Veterinary Clinic, we do a thorough physical exam and pre-op blood testing on your pet before surgery to ensure they are healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet. All our surgical patients receive IV fluids during their procedure, and if serious problems are detected, surgery will be postponed.
What do I need to know prior to surgery?
We like to schedule surgical patients for a visit the day before the procedure. This visit should only take 5 – 10 minutes so that the technician can go over the surgical consent form with you and draw your pet’s blood for pre-anesthetic blood testing.
We will contact you before your scheduled surgery appointment, to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have.
It is important that surgery is done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food for 10 hours before surgery. Water can be left down for the pet.
Will my pet have stitches?
For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin. These will dissolve on their own, and do not need to be removed later. Some surgeries, especially lump removals, do require skin stitches but is typically dependent on the size and location of the lump. With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but if that happens, we recommend an e-collar.
If there are skin sutures, these will need be removed 14 days after surgery. You will also need to limit your pet’s activity level for 5-7 days for most routine surgical procedures. No baths are allowed for the first 14 days after surgery.
Will my pet be in pain?
Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals. Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don’t whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it. Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed.
Can my pet have other procedures done while having surgery?
While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to take care of other minor services such as teeth cleaning/polish, ear cleaning, or implanting a microchip. Please let us know with you are interested in adding additional services prior to the day of your pet’s surgery so we can work up an estimate for you and allow for extra surgical time.