surgery protocols

The Night before Surgery

Unless instructed otherwise, do not feed your pet after 8:00 p.m. the night before surgery. Water is fine, even the morning of surgery...But no food. If food is given, surgery most likely will be postponed and rescheduled due to possible complications with anesthesia. If you have concerns, please let our staff know well in advance of the surgery day.

​​​​​​​Prior to Surgery

When arriving, please allow fifteen minutes at check-in to review and complete necessary paperwork and to answer some questions. You will be required to sign an authorization form allowing us to provide the indicated surgery. You will also be asked to provide contact phone information so we may contact you if we have additional questions.

Pre-surgical Evaluation

It is very important for us to perform thorough pre-surgical exams to help detect any abnormalities that may complicate surgery. This includes listening to the heart for any murmurs or irregular beats and listening to the lungs for any wheezing, obvious congestion, or respiratory conditions. A veterinarian will evaluate the condition of the eyes, mouth, abdomen, ears, skin and hair coat, as well as the musculoskeletal system to determine any other medical conditions.

Pre-surgical blood screens are required for most of our surgical procedures for your pet. This evaluates the function of the liver, kidneys and other internal organs, to ensure that they are healthy enough to metabolize the anesthetic agents used. It also helps us determine if there is an underlying conditions need to be addressed before undergoing anesthesia.

Premedication At Home For Anxious Animals

If your animal is anxious or fearful when they come to the vet, we can give you a safe anti-anxiety medication that can be given at home prior to visiting the vet hospital. By doing so, your pet’s stress level will be lower and he or she will have a more pleasant experience while here. Please ask us if you think your animal could benefit from being premedicated at home.


With the pre-surgical evaluation completed, the veterinarian and technician will decide on the proper pre-anesthetic protocol used prior to surgery. This is a calculated amount of drugs that help your pet to stay calm and comfortable before the procedure begins.

We have several options available to induce anesthesia. Again, careful consideration will be taken to choose the appropriate combination of injectable agents, and/or inhalant gas for your pet. Upon induction of anesthesia, close anesthetic monitoring is done by one of our veterinary technicians. This monitoring continues throughout the entire surgical procedure and well after recovery. We have the ability to monitor several vital signs, including pulse, heart rate and rhythm, respiratory rate, blood pressure, CO2, temperature, and oxygen saturation with anesthetic monitoring equipment. Anesthesia is adjusted as needed throughout surgery to assure your pet's comfort and safety.

When necessary, an intravenous catheter may be placed in one of your pet's legs. Intravenous catheters provide an emergency port to administer any necessary drugs should the need arise during surgery. The catheter also allows for administration of IV fluids or pain medications. These fluids help keep the liver, kidneys, and internal organs supported, hydrated, and functioning well while under anesthesia. If necessary, the IV catheter may remain after surgery to administer fluids and/or medications.

After Care

We want to be sure your pet recovers and thrives after surgery. After surgery, you will be given instructions for at home care. Once you have read over the discharge plans and instructions for your pet, please ask the staff if you have any questions. Once you are home please don't hesitate to call if you have further questions or concerns regarding the status or care of your pet.