Surgery Day Details

Your Pet’s Surgery Day

On the day of your pet’s surgery or dental procedure he should not eat breakfast or drink water after midnight.

You will drop him off at the clinic between 8:00 and 8:30 am.  At drop-off you will be asked to sign a consent form.  This form will state the procedures planned for your pet, and will ask for a phone number where you can be reached so that we may contact you after surgery to give you an update.

Your pet will then be weighed and placed in a surgery kennel upstairs.  Blood will be drawn and a Complete Blood Count, Chemistry and electrolytes will be run.  This information is used to determine if your pet has any anesthetic risks, if he needs a specialized anesthetic drug protocol and what kind of IV fluid support he needs during surgery to maintain his blood pressure during the procedure.

Most pets will have an IV catheter placed to receive these fluids during surgery.  If so, your pet will have his leg shaved and prepped to have the catheter placed.  It will be removed prior to being sent home.

Once all of this is done, your pet will “pre-medded”.  This means he will receive an injection of a sedative and a pain medication.  This is given approximately 30-60 minutes prior to the start of surgery so it is working by the start of surgery.

At surgery time, your pet will be brought to the surgery suite.  He will be given an injection into the catheter to make him fall asleep.  This is called “induction”.  The injection induces an anesthetic (sleep) state.  A breathing tube is passed through his mouth and into his trachea, which is then connected to the ventilator and anesthesia machine to deliver oxygen and anesthetic gases to maintain the sleep state.  This tube also functions to prevent saliva and anything else from passing into the lungs.

Your pet is then placed into the correct position for the surgery.  For spays, neuters, cystotomies and any intra-abdominal surgery your pet will be placed on his back.  For mass removals, the position depends on where the mass is located on his body.  For facial, eyelid or ophthalmic surgery the pet is placed on his belly with his chin on a pillow.  He is then shaved and surgically prepped to remove fur, debris and dirt from his skin as well as decrease the bacteria on his skin at the site of incision.

At the same time, he is being hooked up to clips to monitor his heart.  A blood pressure cuff is placed on a limb or tail, a Doppler may be placed on a limb or tail,  and a thermometer is inserted rectally.  Pulse oximetry is either inserted rectally or a clip is placed on the tongue.

After the procedure is finished, your pet will stay connected to the monitor until we are certain he is breathing on his own.  His endotracheal tube is pulled once he is swallowing and has control of his tongue.  He is then moved to his kennel in the surgery prep room where he recovers on a heating pad, wrapped in blankets and monitored by his technician.

Once up and walking, the catheter is removed form his leg and he is ready to be discharged to finish recovering from his anesthesia at home with his family.


For questions or concerns about your pet’s surgery, please contact us by phone or using the button below. Please try to contact us at least 24 hours before your pet is scheduled for surgery.