Animal Surgery

The healthcare providers at High Desert Veterinary are experienced in many surgical procedures.  In addition to spay and neuter surgeries, we do orthopedic surgeries, mass removals, abdominal surgeries and surgically repairing lacerations and abscesses.  Our doctors also have an exceptional depth of experience in dealing with medical crisis, trauma and critical care situations. Our hospital is well equipped for rapid diagnostics and monitoring, and we can also provide appropriate follow-up care, whether it be medical or surgical.

While under anesthesia for any surgical procedure your pet will be hooked up to a pulse oximeter unit and monitored by a technician, at all times.  Appropriate pain medication will be administered post-op and if needed, prescribed to go home.  One of our technicians will go over care for your pet at home and how to properly medicate.

Post Surgical Home Care Instructions

Special attention to your pet is needed in the first few days after surgery.  Below is an example of the instructions that we send home after surgery.

                                                       HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS
                                                                  PATIENT:  ASPEN


Anesthesia -

- ASPEN did well under anesthesia.
- Since anesthesia can decrease tear production, an ointment was used to protect the eye. This oily residue will dissipate over the next few days.
- Because of the anesthesia, ASPEN may be sleepy and wobbly for the next few hours. However, some pets have the opposite reaction and seem more agitated or vocal. This is all normal and typically resolves by the next day.
- An IV catheter was placed to administer IV fluids, pain medications, etc.. The fur was shaved. Please call us if you notice licking this area or if the area becomes red or irritated.

Food and Water -

- To avoid nausea, do not offer food immediately upon arriving home. You can feed 1/2 the normal amount tonight. Some pets have a decreased appetite for 1 day following surgery, this can be normal. Call if this continues past 1 day.
- Offer water in small amounts, every 2 hours until ASPEN is no longer thirsty. You can leave the water bowl full as usual tomorrow. This will help to prevent engorgement.

Activity -

- ASPEN MUST have limited exercise while recovering for 14 days. Prevent running, jumping, and playing. ASPEN can return to normal activity in 14 days. By limiting activity for 14 days you will GREATLY reduce the risk of post-operative complications (e.g. seromas, hematomas, bleeding, etc.). 

Medication -

1) Pain Medication: __ - Give ___  by mouth every __hrs until finished. Give with food. Start __.

Incision - 

- ASPEN should NOT lick their incision. Licking can cause the incision to open and become infected. Prevent licking by using an E-collar or a surgical suit at all time!
- Check the incision daily. If the incision appears excessively red, swollen, has a discharge, or appears open - call the clinic immediately.
- The incision should not get wet for 14 days.
- If you are using a surgical suit the must be kept clean and ideally changed daily

Seek immediate veterinary care if -

- The incision has signs of redness, swelling, or discharge, or if any sutures are missing.
- If there is agitation or discomfort for more than 4hrs
- Has difficulty breathing.
- Begins squinting eyes for more than 4hrs.
- Refuses to eat or drink for more than 12 hours.
- Does not defecate for more than 48-72 hours.
- Starts vomiting.
- Has diarrhea for multiple bowel movements.

Recheck Appointment -

- ASPEN will NOT need sutures removed (they are absorbable). The incision should be fully healed within 2 weeks. No recheck exam is needed unless you have any concerns. 

Thank you!

ASPEN is a lovely patient and has many fans the at the hospital! Thank you for trusting us with ASPEN's care.
Please call our hospital at 541-382-9262 with any questions or concerns.

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- Anonymous