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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.
Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. Here at Taylorsville 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. The handout on anesthesia explains this in greater detail.
Preanesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Every pet needs blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic. 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. Animals that have minor dysfunction will handle the anesthetic better if they receive IV fluids during surgery. If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected.
We offer in-house blood testing before surgery, which we will go over with you when you bring your pet in. Our doctors prefer the more comprehensive screen, because it gives them the most information to ensure the safety of your pet. For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well.
It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. We ask that your pet not have access to food after 8:00pm the night before surgery and no water after 12:00am.
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 tumor removals, do require skin stitches (and sometimes a drain). With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. If a drain is placed, we are expecting some drainage (usually blood tinged fluid). 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 there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. Drains are typically removed 3 to 4 days after surgery. You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for a period of time. If a pet is too active after surgery, swelling can develop and fluid can accumulate around the incision. Also, no swimming or bathing is allowed for the first 10 days after surgery or until skin sutures, if present, are removed.
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. Major procedures require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations.
For dogs, we may recommend an oral anti-inflamatory the day of surgery and several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling. We use newer medications, which are less likely to cause stomach upset and will likely be given as an injection right after the surgical procedure.
Because cats do not tolerate standard pain medications as well as dogs, we are limited in what we can give them. Recent advances in pain medications have allowed for better pain control in cats now more than ever before. We administer a pain medication by injection prior to surgery. After surgery, pain medication is given on a case by case basis. If an anti-inflammatory pain medication is given, it may only be continued for approximately 3 days after surgery to prevent adverse side effects. Any animal that appears painful will receive additional pain medication as needed.
The cost of pain medications will depend on the size of the dog or cat. We will provide whatever pain management is necessary to ensure pain relief is appropriate, and as a humane and caring thing to do for your pet following surgery.
While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as minor mass removals, ear cleaning, or implanting an identification microchip. If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time. This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for surgery is not the primary decision maker for the pet's care.
When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need to 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other options available. When you pick up your pet after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet's home care needs.
We will call you the night 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.
Exclusive Offers & Services
We would like to thank our clients for recommending us to their friends! If you refer new clients to us, you will receive a $25 credit to your account to use for future visits or medications! The new client just has to give us your name when they visit so we can give you credit for the referral.
Is the cost of preventive care (wellness visits, vaccines, blood testing, etc...) difficult to budget? Do you feel like you are unable to afford all of the preventive care your pet needs due to financial constraints? Problem solved! We are now offering Wellness Plans for all of our patients. Wellness Plans allow you to divide all of the preventive care costs into 12 equal monthly payments. We offer tiered plans to allow you chose the level of preventive care your pet requires and every plan has discounted services to help save you money. If you are interested, click on "Wellness Plans" to learn more about the wellness plans offered at our clinic, give us a call, or ask about our plans at your next appointment for more information.
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In order to provide our clients with a wider array of medications, including compounded medications, we have a new online pharmacy. If you are a current customer of VetSource and have questions about the new online pharmacy, please give us a call at (410) 875-5437.
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