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What to Know Before & After Surgery

 
 

Blood Analysis

For the safety of senior, larger pets, or animals with health issues, we recommend a blood test be done within 30 days prior to the scheduled surgery for the following animals:

  • Pets over age 8 years

  • Pets that are ill and are on medication

  • Any dog weighing 100+ lbs or age 5 years or older  

  • Any giant-breed dog, age 5 years or older, including: Great Dane, Mastiff (all types), Great Pyrenees, St. Bernard, Bouvier, Bernese Mountain Dog, Newfoundland, Cane Corso, Dogue de Bordeaux, Black Russian Terrier, Leonberger, Irish Wolfhound,Scottish Deerhound


 
 

Animals Must be Vaccinated

All dogs and cats 12 weeks and older must be fully vaccinated (including rabies vaccine). Please bring proof of immunization with you. If your pet is not current or you do not have proof, you will be required to purchase all the vaccines require for surgery.


 
 

Spay & Neuter Schedule

We perform spaying and neutering from Tuesday - Friday. Please drop off your pet between 8 AM - 11 AM.

We do not require appointments, however, we recommend arriving early, as our facility often reaches full capacity.

Puppies and kittens must weigh a minimum of 4 pounds and be at least 8 weeks old. Younger or lighter animals may be declined for their own safety.

 

 

Pre-op Instructions:

For the safety and comfort of your pet, please observe the following guidelines prior to surgery:

Adult Pets - No Food after 11 PM on the night before surgery.

Puppies/Kittens age 4 months or younger - Small quantities of food and water can be fed until 6 AM the morning of surgery.  

Keep pets indoors and/or confined the night before surgery to ensure they do not self-feed. We’d also appreciate it if you bathe your dog sometime during the week prior to surgery.

Please inform us if your animal has any prior medical conditions, or has taken any medication or received any injections in the 2 weeks prior to surgery.

We reserve the right to refuse surgery
Any animal we feel may pose a health risk will not be operated on. We will not accept animals exhibiting signs of upper respiratory infection (runny eyes or nose or coughing) or any other illnesses.  

 

 

Day of Surgery:

Please take your dog for a walk on the morning of admission to empty their bladder and bowels. This helps prevent accidents while under general anesthetic.

Dogs must arrive on-leash. Cats must be in carriers. If you do not have a carrier, we have carriers for purchase. Feral cats must be in a secure, live trap—one per trap. 

We ask that you keep your pet in your car or crated until you have completed all of the required paperwork. Please be sure your car is kept at a comfortable temperature while your animal is waiting. A staff member will advise you when we are ready for your pet. 

Our hospital accepts cash, VISA, Master Card, and debit cards. Sorry, we do not accept checks. Payment plans (if qualified) may be arranged with Scratch Pay.

 

 

Pick-Up Times:

All cats and female dogs will be kept overnight after surgery and released the following morning, starting from 8 AM. Male dogs can usually be released the same day as surgery from 4 PM.   

We do not have the facilities to board pets. If you are unable to pick up your pet at the designated time, please notify us as soon as possible. Pets not picked up at their designated pick-up time will be charged a late fee or a boarding fee. Note: Animals who are abandoned will be surrendered to the local animal shelter.

 

 

Post-op Care:

Pain Medication
Your pet received pain medication during the procedure. Do not give your pet any over-the-counter pain medications, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen, as these and other over-the-counter pain medications can be dangerous. If you feel your pet needs additional pain management, please call our hospital so we can determine a safe prescription for your pet.


Surgical Procedure
Female dogs and cats (that had a spay surgery) have a mid-line incision in their abdomen. Male dogs have an incision just above the scrotum and male cats have two incisions, one in each side of the scrotum. The healing period for the incision varies from 14 to21 days. Check the incision site at least twice daily for 14 to 21 days. Redness and swelling should be minimal. 

Male cats and dogs that had a neutering surgery may appear as if they still have testicles. This is normal and the swelling should subside gradually through the recovery period. 


DO NOT ALLOW YOUR PET TO LICK OR CHEW AT THE INCISION! 

If your pet is licking, you MUST get an e-collar (plastic cone) immediately. Do not apply topical ointments, unless specifically instructed—including Neosporin or hydrogen peroxide on the incision—and do not cover the incision.

You will be responsible for veterinary expenses incurred if your animal opens the incision due to licking.


In Heat
If your female dog or cat was in heat at the time of surgery, you must keep your pet away from males for at least 2 weeks. While they are unable to become pregnant, they will still attract intact males for a short period of time and will sustain injuries if a male attempts to mate with them.


Sutures
Unless you are told otherwise, your pet does not have external sutures. All sutures are absorbable on the inside and the very outer layer of skin is held together with surgical glue and absorbable skin sutures. These absorbable skin sutures should start to absorb around 3 weeks after the surgery. Unless specified, do not clean or apply topical ointment to the incision site. If you are told that your pet has skin sutures or skin staples, they will need to return in 2-3 weeks to have those removed. Male cats do not have any sutures.


Limited Activity
It is very important that you limit your pet’s activity for the next 14 days after surgery. Dogs and female cats have internal sutures that provide strength to the tissue as they heal. Any strenuous activity could disrupt this healing process, which can take a minimum of 2 weeks, and often longer.

Please be sure to keep your pet quiet for 14 days according to these instructions:

  • No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activities during the recovery period.

  • Keep your pet indoors where they can stay clean, dry, and warm.

  • Do not bathe your pet for the next 14 days after surgery.

  • Dogs must be walked on a leash and cats must be kept inside. 

  • Limit your pet from going up and down stairs as much as possible. 

We will not be held responsible for medical issues caused by failure to follow our instructions.

Some animals are active after surgery, while others are quiet. The night following surgery, your dog may be groggy and/or whimper a little. However, your dog has received the maximum dosage of pain medication allowable for the day. If this behavior persists into the next morning, please call our hospital for guidance. 


Feeding
If your cat or dog is released the day of surgery, please feed only a small amount of food after 9 PM that night. Some animals display a lack of appetite after surgery. Your pet’s appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery. 

Lethargy, poor appetite, diarrhea, or vomiting after surgery, lasting more than 24 hours is not normal. Notify us immediately. 

Do not feed your pet any junk food, table scraps, milk, or any other people food for a period of one week. Changing your pet’s diet at this time could mask post-surgical complications.


Complications
Spaying and neutering are very safe surgeries; however, complications can occur. Minimal redness and swelling should resolve within several days. If it persists longer or gets worse, call us.

Contact us, immediately, if you notice any of the following:

• Pale gums
• Depression
• Poor appetite (lasting more than 24 hours after surgery)
• Persistent vomiting (lasting more than 24 hours after surgery)
• Persistent diarrhea (lasting more than 24 hours after surgery)
• Discharge or bleeding from the incision
• Difficulty urinating
• Labored breathing

 

Question? (323) 258-8068
Feel free to call us anytime during the recovery period. If this is an after-hours emergency, go to one of the emergency clinics listed below. 

Emergency Hospitals

 

ANIMAL SPECIALTY GROUP
(Glendale area)
4641 Colorado Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(818) 244-7977

TLC PET MEDICAL CENTER
1412 Huntington Drive
South Pasadena, CA 91030
(626) 441-8555

METROPOLITAN ANIMAL SPECIALTY HOSPITAL
6565 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(855) 350-7387

VCA WEST LA ANIMAL HOSPITAL
1900 S. Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 473-2951