Surgery Information

Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

Our veterinarians and licensed technicians are always happy to answer any questions regarding surgical procedures.

Modern anesthetic monitors have increased safety rates for pets during their procedures. A complete physical examination is done before administering anesthetics to ensure there is no fever or illness that will harm the patient after the operation. Each administration is done on an individualized basis by adjusting the amount and type of anesthetic based on your pet’s overall health. 

We recommend pre-anesthetic blood testing before any procedure to ensure liver and kidney function will not be compromised by the anesthesia. Pets may not show obvious symptoms of organ system problems. Some of them can only be detected early on through blood testing. Patients that have minor dysfunction will handle the anesthetic better if they receive IV fluids during surgery. If serious problems are detected, the operation will be postponed until the problem is corrected.

We offer three panels of blood testing for surgical procedures. Our doctors suggest comprehensive screening to provide the most information possible in preparation of the procedure. For geriatric or pets that are ill, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well.

It is important that surgery is done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and/ or after the procedure from the anesthesia. Food will need to be withheld for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery. Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.

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, require skin stitches that will need to be removed in our office 10 to 14 days after the procedure. With any type, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for signs of infection including swelling, irritation, and discharge. 

Following your pet’s surgery, you will need to keep a close eye on them to make sure they are not licking or chewing at their incision. When you are not able to watch your pet they will need to wear an e-collar to keep them from disrupting the surgical site. You will need to limit your pet’s activity for a few days to allow time for the incision to heal. Your pet is not permitted to be bathed or groomed for at least 10 days after their surgery to prevent infection 

Pets don’t usually whine or cry if they are in pain so our veterinarians assess them to see how much pain management will likely be needed. The medications initially provided depend on the type of surgery, and the patient’s size.

Your pet may experience discomfort and pain following their surgery. If you notice their pain is not under control after you bring them home, please call us to discuss further options to make them comfortable. 

Canine medication advancements have increased the options we can offer to our patients. Now we can administer medication the morning of surgery for early management, and a decrease in stomach upset. We can also utilize narcotic patches for further pain control. We may also suggest a post-operation oral anti-inflammatory, or injectable pain medication for discomfort and swelling management.

Cats do not tolerate standard pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol, which limits what we can give them.  Recent advances in feline pain medications have increased our options for their pain management. We administer a pain injection 10 minutes prior to surgery, and we may suggest a second dose after the procedure is completed.

While your pet is under anesthesia, it’s ideal to perform dental work, ear cleaning, microchipping, or other minor procedures. Please call us ahead of time if you would like an estimate for additional services, especially if the person dropping the pet off is not the primary decision maker for the pet’s care.

When you bring your pet in for surgery you will need to fill out paperwork, and make decisions on blood testing and other surgical options available.  When you pick up your pet after surgery, we will go over a post-operation homecare plan with you.

Our veterinary staff will call you the night before the surgery to confirm the drop off time, and to answer any questions.  In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call us at (716) 694-0122 with any questions about your pet’s health or surgery.

small dog with a stethoscope