1Q. Why does my pet need to fast before surgery?
A. Drugs used for anesthesia may make an animal nauseous. It is very important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. If any animal vomits during these times, the risk of inhaling food into the lungs and causing aspiration pneumonia significantly increases. Please withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery.
2Q. Why do you require bloodwork?
A. To ensure that your pet can properly process and eliminate anesthetic agents, we recommend and highly encourage that your pet have pre-anesthetic blood testing performed prior to any anesthetic procedure. These tests confirm that your pet's organs are functioning properly. The tests also reveal hidden health conditions that could put your pet at risk.
This is especially important for older pets. Older pets are more likely to have organ problems. Pre-anesthetic blood work can reveal evidence of underlying and hidden disease. If the results are normal, we can proceed with the anesthetic procedure. If the results are abnormal, the procedure will need to be done at a regular veterinary hospital While there is no guarantee that blood testing will reveal an illness the pet may have, the pre-anesthetic blood work still allows us to catch a problem early.
Pre-anesthetic blood work is also important for our younger pets. Some pets are born with genetic or congenital organ problems that may not show until later in life. These conditions can be worsened by anesthesia. The pre-anesthetic blood work allows us to catch these problems early and avoid exacerbation of the pet's condition with anesthesia.
Here at Welland & District Spay Neuter Clinic all pets over the age of seven to have blood work run prior to any anesthetic procedure. This can be booked through the Welland SPCA
3Q. Is anesthesia safe for my pet?
A. At Welland and District Spay Neuter Clinic, we strive to minimize any risk of anesthesia by examining each animal prior to surgery, using the lowest dose of anesthetic required, and monitoring throughout anesthesia. We are proud of our record of a very low surgical or anesthetic complication rate, but understand that there is still an inherent risk of anesthetic complication with any surgery.
4Q. Is there any advantage to waiting until the animal has had a litter before spaying?
A. No, there is no advantage to letting your pet have a litter. However, there are plenty of advantages to having your pet spayed or neutered early. These advantages include decreasing the chances of mammary tumors later in life, decreasing the chance of cystic ovaries and uterine infections, decreasing the desire to roam the neighborhood, decreasing the incidence of prostate cancer later in life, helping prevent spraying and marking, and also decreasing the surplus of unwanted puppies and kittens that end up in shelters.
5Q. Are there any sutures?
A. There are usually no external skin sutures. We use absorbable sutures underneath the skin. These will dissolve and do not need to be removed. Suture reactions do occasionally occur, and are seen as “bubbles” developing on either side of the incision. For some surgeries, there may be skin sutures and we will let you know to come back in 7 to 10 days to have them removed.
6Q. Do you use pain medications?
A. Animals are given pain medications before and after surgery that should manage post-op pain for the first 24 hours. After surgery, oral pain medication will be dispensed for your pet to bring home.
7Q. Can I give over-the-counter pain medications to my pet after surgery?
A. Human over-the-counter pain medications may cause serious side-effects if given to animals. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is toxic for animals, especially cats, and many pain medications (such as aspirin) will inhibit blood clotting and should not be given to pets after surgery. Please only give the medication that was given to your for your pet at discharge.
8Q. How long will it take for my animal to start eating normally again?
A. Most animals will start eating normally by the day after surgery. If your pet does not start eating after 24 hours, please contact us or your regular veterinarian.
9Q. How much vomiting or diarrhea is normal?
A. It is common for pets to have some GI upset after surgery. The vomiting or diarrhea should subside within 24 hours. You may start by giving small amounts of water the evening of surgery. If your pet keeps the water down, then feed about 1/3 of their normal meal. Your pet may not have an appetite the first day. If your pet vomits, then don’t feed again until the next morning. Do not change your pet’s diet and do not give table scraps. Try a bland diet such as boiled chicken or low-fat cottage cheese and rice if vomiting and/or diarrhea continues longer than a day.
10Q. What if my pet is licking at the incision?
A. It is very important that your pet does not lick his or her incision or it will not heal. If the incision becomes infected or opens up, your pet may require emergency surgery. You can purchase an E-collar (a cone-like collar) from the clinic to prevent licking. Check the incision several times a day and make sure it is not red, swollen, or producing any discharge. If the incision gets wet or dirty, you may clean it by dabbing a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and then patting dry. You may apply a small amount of triple antibiotic ointment on the incision if the redness is mild. Contact the clinic right away if the incision looks red, swollen, oozing, or appears to be opening up.