What to Expect

I have a scheduled appointment:

  • Do not feed your pet after midnight the evening before. Water is permitted until you leave for the hospital. If you are administering medications, please ask when scheduling your appointment if they should be given the morning of the appointment.
  • Please plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment. You will be asked to fill out a short summary of you and your pet’s information to complete the medical records.
  • Please bring any medical records, images (usually on a CD) and medications with you. The medications should be in their original bottles.
  • Following check-in, a surgery technician will take a full history regarding your pet’s condition.
  • Your pet will then have his/her vitals checked and an examination performed by the surgery team.
  • Once the history is reviewed and the examination performed, Drs. Garnett or Langenbach will discuss your pets condition with you. This will include a brief review of the condition, diagnostics needed, treatment options, risks, prognosis and estimated costs.
  • Once a diagnostic and treatment plan is decided upon, your pet may be admitted that day or scheduled for the near future.
  • Drs. Garnett or Langenbach will contact you following surgery for an update and to confirm a plan post-operatively. Most patients spend at least one night in the hospital following surgery.

I am dropping my pet off for surgery:

  • Do not feed your pet after midnight the evening before. Water is permitted until you leave for the hospital. If you are administering medications, please ask when scheduling your appointment if they should be given the morning of the appointment.
  • Please bring all medications with you. These medications should be in their original bottles.
  • Please drop your pet off between 8 and 9am unless otherwise pre-determined with our surgery service.
  • You will be contacted by Drs. Garnett or Langenbach following surgery.

What to expect post-operatively while my pet is hospitalized:

  • After surgery your pet will be hospitalized in our ICU. The ICU is staffed 24/7 by veterinarians and technicians.
  • Your pet is housed in an appropriate sized kennel or run. They are walked and fed regularly.
  • Treatments vary depending on the procedure but commonly include IV fluids, pain medications and GI support medications.
  • While in ICU you pet is monitored closely. This may include vital signs, blood pressures, serial bloodwork, continue EKG, etc.
  • You will receive one or more phone calls per day with a routine update regarding your pet’s status and to review a plan.
  • You may visit your pet while in the hospital between noon and 8pm. Sometimes these visits are facilitated in the ICU while others may take place in an exam room. Visits are usually limited to 5-15 minutes.
  • Once it is decided your pet can be discharged, a time is arranged to do so. At the discharge appointment a technician will review at home instructions including any medications, special feeding recommendations and how to monitor your pet.

What to expect post-operatively once my pet is home:

  • All discharge instructions will be discussed by a technician at your discharge appointment.
  • Your pet will likely have medications sent home with them. If you are having difficulty administering medications, consider trying to pill pockets, peanut butter or small piece of cheese. If necessary, we can teach you how to “pill” your pet.
  • Most post-operative patients require 2-8 weeks of activity restriction following the procedure. This is to allow tissues/bone to heal appropriately and to avoid complications.
  • If recommended, it is very important your pet wears the E-collar sent home with you. It is meant to prevent your pet from licking, scratching or chewing at the incision site. It can be removed for short periods of time when directly supervised to assist in eating and quality time.
  • Your pet will likely be mildly lethargic for the first day or two at home. We like to see a gradual improvement during recovery.
  • Your pet’s appetite may be decreased initially. If they do not eat after 24 hours at home, please contact us unless otherwise directed. As with their energy level, we like to see a gradual improvement during recovery.
  • Please do not hesitate to call us at any time with questions or concerns. If there is a concern about the incision or behavior, please consider taking a picture and emailing it to us. The surgery service is available Monday through Friday from 8 to 5pm. After hours, the emergency and critical care service will answer all your questions.