We Offer a Wide Range of Surgical Procedures
We perform spays and neuters on a variety of animals including dogs, cats, and small mammals like rabbits, sugar gliders and rodents.
The term “spay” (from the Latin Spathe) is a veterinary term indicating an ovariohysterectomy. This procedure in animals, as in humans, involves the complete removal of the uterus and ovaries so that the animal no longer has an estrus cycle (they don’t go into heat) and can’t get pregnant.
Although this is a surgery done routinely in most veterinary hospitals, it is a major surgical procedure. Keeping your pet’s activity restricted for a week after surgery to facilitate healing is important.
Neuters involve the complete removal of both testicles. This eliminates the animal’s ability to impregnate another animal. It also reduces their risk of prostate disease and eliminates their risk of testicular cancer. It is important to neuter dogs and cats that have a retained testicle—a testicle that did not completely descend into the scrotum—because there is a higher risk of testicular cancer in those animals.
Although a neuter is not as invasive as a spay, we still recommend a week of reduced activity to reduce the risk of post-operative complications. Generally, dogs and cats that have been spayed or neutered go home the same day.
General Surgical Procedures
We also offer general surgical procedures like growth removals, bladder stone removal, and much more.
Using our surgical CO2 laser we are able to perform feline declaw procedures as well as some other surgeries. Surgical lasers use light in the infrared spectrum and are best suited to cutting soft tissue. They can reduce post-operative pain, thus shortening recovery time, for some procedures by sealing nerve endings.
Intra-operative bleeding and post-operative swelling are also reduced by sealing the ends of small blood vessels, eliminating the need for a tourniquet which declaws using a scalpel blade generally need. A single dissolvable suture is placed in each toe for declaw procedures, which usually falls out on its own 2 to 4 weeks after surgery.
Cats that are declawed are generally hospitalized for 2 – 3 days after surgery to watch for post-operative bleeding and swelling as well allowing them to rest and their feet to start healing before they go home.
Care While Under Anesthesia
We know that you are concerned with putting your pets under anesthesia. We will always do everything we can to keep your pets safe and minimize risk. We want them to live long healthy lives. At no additional cost, all procedures involving general anesthesia will always be performed with one of our technicians monitoring and adjusting anesthesia while one of our veterinarians performs surgery.
To facilitate monitoring of your pet’s vital signs during anesthesia, we us instrumentation adapted from human medicine for use on animals. Because no single monitoring parameter gives us enough information to assess our patients, we monitor several different things. We monitor:
This monitors the electrical activity of the heart, helping us recognize any abnormalities in heart rate or rhythm as well as other cardiac conduction issues.
This monitors pulse rate and oxygen/hemoglobin saturation, helping us assess oxygenation and ventilation.
End tidal CO2
This monitors the amount of carbon dioxide your pet breaths out to help us assess how well gasses are being exchanged in the lungs (oxygen and carbon dioxide). It is also used to monitor respiratory rate.
This helps us assess how well their tissues are being perfused and how well the heart pumps blood.
Pre-anesthetic lab work
Pre-anesthetic lab work is generally recommended in older animals to check liver and kidney function as well as white blood cell counts and red blood cell levels. A urinalysis can also be done if indicated and if a urine sample is available. If heart disease is suspected, an electrocardiogram as well as chest X-rays can be done to better evaluate the heart prior to anesthesia.
As in humans, we typically suggest doing that lab work 5 – 7 days before anesthesia to have time to evaluate the laboratory results and, if needed, alter plans for anesthesia. Not all surgical procedures need to be canceled if laboratory results are abnormal. Sometimes all that is needed is a change in medications used or the administration of IV fluids during the procedure. If significant abnormalities are found during pre-anesthetic lab work, surgery can be postponed until those issues are corrected.
Maintaining core temperature
Since body temperature can drop while under anesthesia, we place animals on a warm water circulating heating pad to help maintain core temperature for most of our surgical procedures.
The warm water pads are much safer than a standard heading pad because the water circulating pads don’t overheat as standard heating pads can and we can adjust the temperature of the pad according to the needs of our patients.
This helps keep our patients more stable and reduces the risk of hypothermia while under anesthesia. Keeping our patients warm also helps maintain perfusion and reduces the time needed for them to recover from anesthesia.
Unless contraindicated, medication to reduce post-operative pain is generally given by injection prior to surgical procedures so that it is absorbed by the time surgery is over. These are generally non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). A second medication is generally given after surgery also to reduce post-operative pain as much as possible. These are generally narcotic medications.
If indicated, a few days of pain medication is also sent home to make recovery after surgery at home as easy as possible. For most of our routine procedures these medications are included in the cost of the procedure.