Our board-certified surgeons are skilled in all aspects of surgery, including minimally invasive surgery (arthroscopy, laparoscopy, thoracoscopy), soft tissue and oncologic surgery, orthopedic surgery, spinal stabilization surgery, and management of joint disease. We also offer platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy to treat joint injuries, tendon injuries, and large wounds. Our surgeons are on-call for emergency surgeries and work seamlessly with our ER and specialty departments and your primary care veterinarian to ensure a comprehensive approach to patient care.
What to expect at your pet’s first Surgery appointment:
Please note: if you arrive more than 15 min after your scheduled appointment time, we may need to reschedule your appointment.
A veterinary surgeon is a veterinarian who has successfully completed additional training, including a minimum of a 1-year internship followed by a 3-year residency in a program that meets the guidelines established by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). Board-certification requires publication of a research project and completion of a rigorous examination.
Our Surgery service sees patients 7 days a week (with occasional exceptions, including holidays). It is helpful for our team to have access to your pet’s medical history in advance of your visit. Our staff will facilitate this once your primary care veterinarian arranges your pet’s referral and/or when you call to schedule your appointment.
When you arrive at our hospital, you will be asked to fill out an information sheet about your pet. Our front office staff will ask you and your pet to find a seat in our lobby and alert the surgery team of your arrival. One of our surgery nurses will then come and escort you to an examination room for a review of your pet’s medical history. The nurse will relay this information to the surgeon who will then meet with you, perform a physical examination on your pet, discuss your pet’s condition and provide diagnostic and treatment recommendations.
Additional diagnostics (eg, blood work, radiographs, ultrasound) may be recommended to accurately diagnose your pet’s condition and optimize treatment recommendations. While not always needed, we ask that you be prepared to leave your pet with us for the day. We also ask that you take away your pet’s food the night before their visit (continued access to water is fine) in case sedation is needed to perform any of these tests.
Following initial evaluation, our surgeons will work with you on developing the best treatment plan taking all factors into consideration. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with you and your primary care veterinarian to provide optimal care for your pet.
Treatment costs vary widely. Our team will create an estimate for your pet’s appointment and will keep you updated throughout your pet’s stay.
Prior to scheduled surgery:
- Do not feed your pet anything after 10 PM the night before surgery.
- Be sure to walk your dog in the morning (for cats, please allow continued litter box access) before coming to the hospital so that they can eliminate.
- When the nurse comes to meet you and admit your pet for surgery, please let us know of any dietary restrictions or any medications your pet is receiving and when they were last given.
- You may bring in any non-controlled medications as well as food for your pet if desired. Please note we do not allow raw food diets in the hospital. We do carry a wide variety of diets as well as most medications in hospital.
- Please confirm the phone number where we can best reach you with our front desk prior to leaving.
During surgery, your pet will be under anesthesia and closely monitored by our highly trained team. In many cases we will perform an epidural or a local nerve block to aid in a smooth anesthesia and to decrease post-operative pain. After surgery, the surgeon will phone you with an update.
We understand it can be stressful to have your pet in the hospital and we value the human / animal bond you share. To accommodate this, we offer flexible visiting hours (NOTE: 6 am – 9 am and 6 pm – 9 pm are busy hours in our hospital and we strive to minimize visits during these times). We recommend visits be limited to 30 min or less in order to avoid disrupting ongoing treatments. We generally do not recommend visits on the day of surgery, as it can interfere with recovery from anesthesia and may cause undue stress for your pet.
After your pet has recovered sufficiently from surgery to be discharged, a surgery team member will meet with you to go over home care instructions. These instructions may include:
- Incision care As the incision heals, it is important that your pet not be allowed to lick or scratch the area as this may lead to infection, wound break down, or other complications. You pet will be sent home in an E-collar to keep them from being able to reach the area.
- Exercise As your pet heals and recovers, exercise restriction will be recommended. The surgery team will go over the specifics of your pet’s exercise limitations with you.
- Medication Your pet may be sent home with medication(s) to aid in their recovery. These may include pain relieving medication, anti-inflammatory medication and/or antibiotics, among others. Please give all medications as directed. Please let the surgery team know if you are unfamiliar with or unable to give any of the medications.
- Suture removal Sutures (stitches, staples) are typically ready to be removed 10-14 days after surgery. The surgery team will provide specific recommendations for your pet’s suture removal. Our front desk staff can help you schedule this appointment. There is generally no fee associated with the suture/staple removal appointment.
- Bandages Your pet may be sent home with a bandage, which will require strict monitoring at home to avoid complications. Bandage changes are generally required every 5-7 days, and there are fees associated with these visits. We will generally provide you with an estimate of the anticipated additional costs at the time of your consultation.