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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.

Why Microchip?

1Q: Will it hurt my pet when he gets the microchip implanted?
A: It won’t hurt any more than a routine vaccination – having a microchip implanted doesn’t even require anesthetic. The microchip comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades. The process takes only a few seconds, and your pet will not react any more than he would to a vaccination.
2Q: Will a microchip tell me my pet’s location?
A: Pet microchips are not tracking devices and do not work like a GPS.
3Q: Why does my pet need a microchip when he already wears a collar with tags?
A: All pets should wear collar tags imprinted with their name and the phone number of their pet parent, but only a microchip provides permanent ID that cannot fall off, be removed, or become impossible to read.
4Q: Isn’t micro chipping only for dogs?
A: Both cats and dogs need to be micro chipped. Cats often do not wear collars, and may not have any other form of ID. A recent study showed that less than 2% of cats without microchips were returned home. However, if a cat is micro chipped, the return-to-owner rate is 20 times higher than if the cat was not micro chipped.
5Q: Can anyone with a scanner access my contact information from the chip?
A: Microchips carry only a unique identification number. If your pet gets lost and is taken to a vet clinic or animal shelter, your pet will be scanned for a microchip to reveal his unique ID number. That number will be called into the pet recovery service, and you will be contacted using the contact information on file with your pet’s microchip.
6Q: How many times do I need to microchip my pet?
A: A microchip will normally last the lifetime of your pet because it is composed of bio compatible materials that will not degenerate over time.
7Q: My pet has a microchip. Is that all I need to protect him if he gets lost?
A: A microchip is only the first step! You must register your pet’s microchip to give your pet the best protection. Also, remember to keep your contact information up to date whenever you move or change phone numbers.

Head Cone Information

1Q:Why does my pet need to wear a head cone?
The collar's primary purpose is to prevent your pet from directly traumatizing a surgical site or injured area of the body. The sutures are internal and do not need to be removed, but by licking could cause the incision to become infected or open.
2Q:How long does my pet need to wear this cone?
The collar must be worn until the wound has fully healed. We recommend 10-14 days after surgery. To minimize the time that the collar must be worn, it is important to follow the go home surgery instructions.
3Q:Can I take the head cone off?
In general, this is not a good idea since these cones can be challenging to properly replace and re-position on your pet once they are removed. However, in some situations, as advised by your veterinarian, you may remove the head cone for periods when you are able to offer close supervision. When replacing the head cone, always ensure that you can fit two fingers comfortably between the collar and the pet's neck. This will ensure that the collar will not restrict your pet's ability to breathe or swallow, while preventing it from sliding forward over your pet's ears. If you are unable to replace the collar properly, contact your veterinarian immediately.
4Q:Is it safe to let my pet go outdoors alone wearing the head cone?
No. Head cones often restrict a pet's field of vision and will prevent your pet from seeing potential dangers. It is also easy for the collar to get caught in brush or on other objects, and may restrict its ability to walk in tight spaces or jump up or down. We recommend that a pet wearing a head cone be kept indoors unless closely supervised when outdoors.
5Q:What special care does my pet need when wearing a head cone?
Your pet can eat and drink normally with a properly fitted head cone. It may be cumbersome or messy at first but most pets quickly adapt. You may need to elevate or change the shape of the food and water bowls to make it easier for your pet to eat and drink. Some pets find it easier to eat from a plate or saucer rather than a bowl, while others will initially refuse to eat while wearing the head cone.
The head cone should be kept clean and free of debris. It is important to check that the cone is not causing irritation or abrasions on your pet's neck. This should be done at least once a day. Your pet will be unable to groom itself while wearing a protective collar and it is important for you to brush or groom your pet on a daily basis, especially if it has long hair.
6Q:What else should I expect?
Many pets will inadvertently knock over objects or accidentally get stuck in confined spaces until they become accustomed to the collar. Be sure to remove any valuable or dangerous objects to a safer location to prevent accidental breakage or injury. Check your home for areas where your pet could become trapped and if possible eliminate these areas or restrict your pet's access to them. Problem areas include tight spaces behind couches, beds, or other similar objects. Some pets will become more nervous or easily startled while wearing the head cone since their peripheral vision is obstructed and they are unable to see to the sides and above themselves normally.

Keeping Costs Low

How is the clinic able to keep your prices so low? Is my vet overcharging me? Or is your clinic cutting corners, or not using vets?

Be assured; your pet will be provided with high-quality care by a fully licensed and very skilled veterinarian and registered veterinary technicians. Our supplies and medications are the same as those available at any other veterinary clinic. All animals are provided with pain medication during and following surgery, and have the same surgical procedures as they would at a regular clinic. Your regular veterinarian is not overcharging, but for the reasons below cannot offer the surgeries at such a low cost.

We are able to keep our prices as low as we do for several reasons:

• The Welland SPCA owns the buildings in which our clinic operates, reducing significant expenses.
• By exclusively performing spay/neuter surgeries, we do not require a lot of other very expensive veterinary supplies and equipment, like those used for diagnostics, as regular veterinary clinics are required to own, which reduces our overhead substantially.
• With a model that is based on high-volume, we are able to use our purchasing power to reduce our costs further … all savings we can pass along to you! Additionally the Welland Spay Neuter Clinic is non-profit organization allowing us to keep cost low to provide this essential service to the community.