Cacapon Veterinary Medical Center

546 Cold Stream Rd.
Capon Bridge, WV 26711

(304)856-1700

cacaponvets.com

Surgical Services: Surgeries are preformed in our fully equipped surgical suite on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. We routinely perform a wide variety of surgical procedures including: spays, neuters, fracture repairs, tumor removal, exploratory surgery, and foreign body removal among others. We also work closely with board certified surgeons, should your pet need more specialized surgical care.  

 

                                              What You Need to Know Before Your Pet's Upcoming Surgery

Fracture RepairMany people have questions about various aspects of their pet's surgery, and we hope this information will help.  It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet's upcoming surgery.

Is the anesthetic safe?

We utilize the safest available anesthetics to provide an extra margin of safety, especially for our older or higher-risk patients. Using the most modern equipment, the patient's vital signs are monitored during all anesthetic procedures.


Today's modern anesthetics and monitoring equipment have made surgery much safer than in the past.  Here at Cacapon Veterinary Medical Center, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that a fever or other illness won't be a problem.  We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet. 

Preanesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia.  Every pet needs blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic.  Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing.  If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications.  Animals that have minor dysfunction will handle the anesthetic better if they receive IV fluids during surgery.  If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected.

We offer different levels of in-house blood testing before surgery, which we will go over with you when you bring your pet in.  Our doctors prefer the more comprehensive screen, because it gives them the most information to ensure the safety of your pet.  For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well.

It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia.  You will need to withhold food and water after midnight the night before surgery.  For toy breeds of dogs you should make sure that your pet eats around midnight but has nothing after that time.


Will my pet have stitches?

For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin.  These will dissolve on their own, and do not need to be removed later.  Some surgeries, especially tumor removals, do require skin stitches.  With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge.  Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for.  An elizabethian collar can be purchased to prevent this. If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed in 10 to 14 days after surgery.  You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for a time and no baths are allowed for the first 10 days after surgery.

Will my pet be in pain?

Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals.  Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don't whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it.  Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed.  Major procedures require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations.

For dogs, we may recommend an oral anti-inflamatory the day after surgery and several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling.  We use newer medications, which are less likely to cause stomach upset and can be given even the morning of surgery.  Be certain to request pain medications prior to your pet going home from any surgical procedure.

Because cats do not tolerate standard pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol, we are limited in what we can give them.  Recent advances in pain medications have allowed for better pain control in cats than ever before.   After surgery, pain medication is given on a case by case basis.  Any animal that appears painful will receive additional pain medication.

We use narcotic patches for some surgeries in patients as well.  The cost will depend on the size of the patient.  Injectable pain medications may also be used after surgery on both dogs and cats.  Providing whatever pain relief is appropriate is a humane and caring thing to do for your pet.

What other decisions do I need to make?

While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as dentistry, ear cleaning, or implanting an identification microchip.  If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time.  This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for surgery is not the primary decision maker for the pet's care.

When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need to 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other options available.  When you pick up your pet after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet's home care needs.

We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery appointment, to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have.  In the meantime, please don't hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet's health or surgery.

Please walk your pet

Walking your pet helps to ensure an empty bowel and bladder before surgery.  This allows for a more efficient quicker abdominal surgery and lessens the time under anesthesia.  This also helps to prevent the patient from having eliminations during the surgery or recovery.