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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, patients are seen by appointment.
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Spaying or neutering can be done at approximately 5 months of age. Your pet is given an exam prior to surgery to help determine whether your pet is healthy enough to undergo the surgical procedure. Current vaccinations are required at the time of surgery. Also pre-anesthetic blood screen is required prior to undergoing anesthesia and surgery. Pain medications will be given before, during, and after surgery to ensure your pets post-operative comfort.
This is a blood test that is performed here in the hospital prior to surgery. We test for organ functions, blood count and clotting function of your pet's circulatory system. Pre-anesthetic blood screening is done to assure safety during surgery and the ability to heal following surgery.
Procedures involving sutures or skin staples require them to be removed in 14 days following the surgery.
No, there is no advantage to letting your pet have one litter. However there are plenty of advantages to having you pet spayed or neutered. These advantages include decreasing the chances of breast tumors later in life, decreasing the chance of cystic ovaries and uterine infections later in life, decreasing the desire to roam the neighborhood, decreasing the incidence of prostate cancer later in life, helping prevent spraying and marking, and also decreases the surplus of unwanted puppies and kittens.
We do not board pets. However, we can provide you will facilities recomended by our clients.
Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. Here at North Windham Veterinary Hospital, 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 require in-house blood testing before surgery, which we will go over with you when you bring your pet in. Our doctors need the blood 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 for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery. Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.
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. If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 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.
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 all patients, we will dispense oral pain medications after surgery and for several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling. We use newer medications, which are less likely to cause stomach upset. Recent advances in pain medications have allowed for better pain control in cats and dogs than ever before. We administer a pain injection 10 minutes prior to surgery that blocks pain receptors before any painful stimulus is performed. After Anesthesia has been induced, pain medication will be infused at the surgical site and/or given intravenously to further reduce discomfort. This not only eliminates pain, but also allows us to reduce the amount of general anesthesia needed and provides a smoother recovery. Any animal that appears painful will receive additional pain medication.
We use narcotic patches for some surgeries in dogs as well. The cost will depend on the size of the dog. 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.
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 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.