Your Pet’s Surgery Day

So it’s time for your pet to be spayed (females) or neutered (males).

This is a very important day for you and your pet. It is a major surgery so your choice of hospital is equally important. You must be comfortable with how you and your pet will be treated. You must be comfortable with the competency of the surgeon and the care providers you are entrusting your pet’s health with.  We will do our best to inform you of how the big day will go so that you have a good understanding of what to expect at Oshawa Animal Hospital. The best way to do this is to arrange to take a tour of the hospital and take the opportunity to meet the people that will be caring for your pet. We can walk you through the day, show you the surgery suite, show you the recovery areas and demonstrate the measures we take to ensure your pet’s maximum comfort and safety from the time you leave them in our care until you take them home later in the day.  Many of the features you will see are unique to Oshawa Animal Hospital as we strive to provide the best care in the area.

After you have made the choice to go ahead and have your pet’s procedure performed at Oshawa Animal Hospital, we advise you to set up an appointment with one of our veterinarians so we may determine your pet’s health status and ensure that there are no health issues that would hinder having the procedure done. At this pre surgical appointment, we could do some labwork to evaluate your pet’s internal organs in an effort to more thoroughly understand your pet’s health. If all is well, then you can book your pet’s surgery appointment.

The big day has arrived!

On this day, we admit your pet at a scheduled 15 minute appointment between 7 and 8 am. During this appointment we will review final details with you and set up a time to discharge your pet later in the day. You are welcome to tuck your pet into bed before you leave. It is important that your pet is given an opportunity to relax and adjust to his/her surroundings for the day. A relaxed pet in a calm environment helps to smooth the anesthesia process so allowing your pet time to adjust to our environment is important. The next step is the placement of an intravenous catheter that we use to administer warm IV fluids during the procedure as well as to administer any intravenous anesthetic agents or other drugs. The anesthetic agents are then given and we place a breathing tube through which we deliver oxygen and a gas anesthetic to keep them in a plane of sleep where they will feel no discomfort during surgery. The anesthetic agents we use are chosen based on each individual pet and allow for a safe surgery along with a rapid and smooth recovery. Once your pet is comfortably sleeping, we clip the hair on your pet’s abdomen and clean and sanitize the skin with skin cleansers. We are now ready to proceed with the surgery. This can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes on average with large dogs potentially taking longer than this. Your pet will be monitored at all times during the anesthesia by a technician using state of the art monitoring equipment to keep an eye on heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and temperature. We keep all pet’s warm on a temperature controlled water bed and surrounded by warm oat bags. The finale of the surgery is closing the skin incision and this can involve placing skin sutures which will need to be removed at a later date. During recovery, warmth and comfort are the biggest concerns. Pets are kept warm with cozy blankets and supplemental heat. Large dogs are recovered on heated floor beds. To maximize comfort, pain medications are administered and we will also send these same medications home with you to continue for a few days. As soon as your pet has stabilized in recovery, we will contact you to let you know because we know that you will be anxiously waiting for the news. The rest of the day your pet will spend slowly getting back to normal under the supervision of our pet care providers.  

During your pet’s discharge appointment we will review information about the surgery and give you some guidance as to how to manage your pet at home during the recovery period. We will also arrange an appointment to evaluate your pet 10-14 days post operatively and remove skin sutures if they were used. We are available until 9 pm on the day of surgery to answer any questions that arise once you get your pet home. And after this time, if any concerns arise, you can contact one of the 2 after hours clinics that serve our clients. Most pets, especially young pets, recover from this surgery very quickly and appear to be back to normal within hours. But it is important to keep your pet quiet for a few days and restrict exercise for a couple of weeks. We will review specific post op recommendations for your pet upon discharge.

We hope that this information helps you to have a better understanding of what is involved in the process of spaying or neutering your pet at Oshawa Animal Hospital. Please contact us today to book your spay/neuter appointment or to arrange a tour of the hospital and meet our outstanding team of care providers at Oshawa Animal Hospital. We look forward to meeting you and your pet!