Walnut Creek Veterinary Clinic offers a variety of routine surgical services, including spay/neuter, declawing, hernia repair, lump biopsies, removal.
Many families have questions about various aspects of their pet’s surgery. Please look over the information below and if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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 on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that a fever or other illness won’t be a problem. We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet.
We also require pre-anesthetic blood testing to ensure that the liver and kidneys excrete the anesthetic properly. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications. All our surgical patients receive IV fluids during their procedure, this helps with kidney function and blood pressure. If serious problems are detected, surgery will be postponed.
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 this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for, if this happens we recommend an e-collar, which is a cone that goes around the pet’s neck to protect them from getting at their incision. If there are skin sutures, these will need be removed 10 to 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 10 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.
What other decisions do I need to make?
While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as a teeth cleaning/polish, ear cleaning, or implanting a microchip. If you are interested in adding additional services to your pets already scheduled procedure, please give our office a call as any extra services will need time added! If you would like a treatment plan for these extra services, you can email or call us and one of our technicians can work one up for you.
When you bring your pet in for surgery, we like to schedule you to come in the day before, with your pet, which will take 5 to 10 minutes of time, at that time the technician will go over our surgical consent form with you and draw your pets blood. When you pick up your pet after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes with a technician, who will go over discharge instructions for your pet.
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. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet’s health or surgery.