Frequently Asked Questions - Pet FAQ
Food must be withheld at least 12 hours before surgery. Water can be given right up until the time you bring them to our clinic.
Your pet should not be bathed until 10 days after their surgery.
For the safety of all of our guests and patients, we require vaccinations and intestinal parasite checks to be up to date on all dogs and cats that stay in our hospital. This requirement helps reduce the incidence of contagious illnesses being spread from pet to pet.
Anesthesia in dogs and cats is extremely safe. We use the same anesthetic drugs and anesthetic machines that human hospitals use. Dr. Keating performs an examination of each patient before they are anesthetized, and we offer pre-anesthetic blood testing and ECG testing (to check for heart problems/arrhythmias)to make sure your pet is a good candidate for anesthesia. If any abnormalities are detected, Dr. Keating will call to discuss them with you before proceeding with anesthesia. During the procedure, your pet’s blood pressure, oxygen saturation levels, pulse and temperature will be monitored closely.
After any surgical procedure, your pet should be kept in a comfortable confined area. You should keep them away from your other pets and small children until they have fully recovered. We will discuss this in detail with you when you pick your pet up.
Yes, your pet will need pain medication after surgery. We give them an injection of pain medication before the procedure and it lasts for several hours. We then have you start oral pain medication the evening after surgery, usually at about 7 P.M.
Remarkably, young dogs and cats that appear outwardly healthy can have serious congenital and acquired health problems. Examples include congenital heart defects, anemia, low platelet counts, low protein levels, kidney and liver problems. All of these and other diseases can place them at risk for complications and even death while undergoing anesthesia and surgery if not detected beforehand. A pre-anesthetic ECG can help us detect heart problems that might go undetected otherwise. Pre-anesthetic blood testing (complete blood count and biochemistry panel) helps us to make sure your pet does not have kidney or liver problems, abnormal sugar and protein levels, anemia, low platelet counts (platelets are responsible for clotting blood…obviously very important in surgery), infection, as well as other problems. An IV catheter allows us to administer anesthetic drugs, IV fluids and gives us instant access to a vein if any emergency drugs are necessary. During anesthesia, circulation to certain body tissues can be somewhat compromised. IV (intravenous) Fluids help increase circulation to all body tissues.
For most surgeries (spay, neuter, tumor removal, and others) the answer is “no”. We do require declaw patients to stay overnight but they can leave the next day in most cases. We also encourage the owners of pets undergoing orthopedic surgery to allow them to stay with us at least overnight. By staying in our hospital, we can monitor them for complications, keep them confined and administer pain medications to them. We will discuss your pet’s individual needs before the surgery.
We recommend that your pet be spayed (female) or neutered (male) between the ages of 4-6 months. With females, we want to spay them before their first heat cycle, and this age range allows this in most dogs and cats. (There are many health benefits to spaying before their first heat cycle including decreasing the risk of cancer later in life!) With males, we are able to prevent many of the unwanted “male behaviors” by performing the neuter before 6 months of age.
- Unexplained or sudden weight loss.
- Significant loss of appetite or increased appetite.
- Pawing at ears or shaking head.
- Lumps on body.
- Significant fur loss (not just shedding, which is normal); dull, patchy coat.
- Persistent sneezing or coughing.
- Abnormal discharge from the eyes or nose.
- Stiffness or weakness in any joints; pet moves with difficulty.
- Straining to urinate or defecate. Inability to urinate is an emergency – get your pet to the vet immediately
If your pet eats the morning of surgery, it is best to call Trinity Pet Hospital as soon as possible and reschedule the surgery.