Surgical Procedures – What to Know & Expect | Veterinary Specialty Centre - St. John's NL

Surgical Procedures – What to Know & Expect

Our specialists and veterinarians will review available options with the patient’s family and make recommendations based upon each patient’s individual needs. Our goal is a long-term, successful outcome whenever possible. If your pet is schedule for a surgical procedure, these are some important things to know.

Preparation: To prepare for your pet’s appointment, read our Client Preparation Guide. If this procedure requires sedation and/or anesthesia, refer to our Sedation and Anesthetic Fact Sheet. We also recommend our clients become familiar with our Terms and Conditions.

Process: For scheduled surgical procedures, your pet will be admitted to the hospital.

  1. At the time of admission, we will present you with consent forms. After you have thoroughly reviewed the forms, you will need to answer questions and provide signed consent within each form. We encourage you to inform us of any questions and/or concerns you may have.
  2. Once admitted, a veterinarian will examine your pet, review their medical history and lab work, and evaluate any radiographs (if applicable). Additional diagnostics may be performed.
  3. An intravenous catheter may be placed for the administration of medications. This requires hair clipping at the catheter site. The surgical site will need to be prepared for surgery. This will require clipping of the fur and cleaning of the skin.
  4. Your pet will then be transported to the appropriate room for the procedure. A registered veterinary technician will be with your pet during the whole process to monitor their status.
  5. After surgery, your pet will be transferred to our intensive care unit, where a team of veterinarians and registered veterinary technicians will continue to monitor your pet during their recovery.
  6. We cannot predict when your pet’s surgical procedure will be complete, but will contact you after the procedure to advise you on important details and how your pet is doing. You are welcome to call at any time to check on your pet.
  7. Unless you have been informed otherwise by the veterinarian conducting the procedure, please expect for your pet to be hospitalized for at least 24-hours to monitor their recovery and receive post-operative supportive care.
  8. Once a veterinarian has determined that your pet is ready to go home, we will call to schedule a release appointment.
  9. After evaluating your pet’s recovery, you will receive any recommendations for treatment, medication, and/or further diagnostics (if required).

Additional Information:

  1. Sutures/Staples: Depending on the procedure, we may use absorbable and/or non-absorbable sutures or staples. You will be instructed whether or not sutures need to be removed and when.
  2. Bandage: Depending on the location of the surgical site, we may apply a bandage for protection. If your pet goes home with a bandage applied, you will receive instructions as to how to care for it.
  3. E-collar: Depending on the location of the surgical site, we may place an e-collar if your pet attempts to lick or chew their wound.
  4. After Care: Proper nursing care is important – even once your pet has gone home. Other pets and children should be kept away and cats should be kept indoors. To ensure your pet’s surgical wound heals appropriately, it is imperative that you follow the post-operative care outlined in your pet’s discharge instructions.
  5. Medication: If your pet is prescribed medication to take home, it is important you know when to give the next dose, how to give it, how often, and for how long. If your pet was already on medication, please ask us if you should keep giving them to your pet.
  6. Progress Evaluation: Depending on the procedure, the number of required progress evaluations varies. Recheck radiographs are required during orthopedic surgical follow-up care.