Surgery

All of our veterinarians are also surgeons. Otterkill is equipped with a fully loaded surgical suite to provide your pet with the best possible care. For some surgeries such as advanced orthopedic procedures, our doctors may to refer you and your pet to a board certified surgeon.

We'd like to show you the excellent expert care our patients receive when they're here for a procedure or operation. The patients are all carefully assessed and monitored following guidelines established by the American Animal Hospital Association.

Follow us through a "typical" surgical procedure.

Pre-surgical instructions

Please read the following instructions carefully. Feel free to call if you have any questions prior to surgery.

  • DO NOT FEED your pet after 8:00 p.m. the night before surgery.
  • DO NOT WITHHOLD WATER. Water may be given until you bring your pet to the hospital. If he did not have access to water, please notify us when you check in.
  • We recommend you bathe or have your pet groomed prior to the surgical procedure, particularly if very dirty. This will decrease the possibility of infection.
  • Remove flea collars and discontinue the use of all flea control products for 3 days before surgery.
  • Please bring your pet to the hospital for admission between 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. the day of surgery.
  • If we have never examined your pet before the day of the surgery please bring your pet at 9:00 am to meet with the surgeon beforehand.
  • If your pet will be hospitalized overnight we recommend you bring along his/her food to be fed the evening after the procedure and the following morning. Otherwise we will feed an easily digestible diet.
  • On the day of surgery, we will call you after 2:00 p.m. to update you on your pet's condition.
  • Please leave telephone numbers where you can be reached on the day of surgery. If there is a problem during or after the surgery, you will be contacted immediately.
  • If your pet is undergoing elective surgery such as a spay or neuter, all vaccinations must be up to date.
  • If your pet is older than 6 years of age, we will need to perform a blood test prior to the surgery to make sure values such as liver and kidney function is satisfactory for anesthesia.
  • Discharge appointments will be made when we call you to update you on your pet's condition for later in the day or for the following afternoon if staying overnight.
Surgery produces anxiety for you and your pet. We care about your pet's health and safety and want you to feel comfortable about his or her anesthesia and surgery. Please read below to give you more information about the anesthesia we use.

What really happens when anesthesia is given?
Anesthesia works by slowing body functions, relaxing muscles and blocking pain. Routine surgeries in veterinary medicine are performed using injectable or inhalation anesthetics. Injectable anesthetics travel directly through the bloodstream to the brain to put your pet into a deep sleep. Inhalation anesthetics are gases that are inhaled into the lungs, absorbed into the blood stream and then travel to the brain.

Injectable anesthetics are primarily processed through the liver and kidneys. This typically leads to longer recovery periods and potential after effects such as lethargy, irritability or excessive salivation.

Inhalation anesthetics enter and leave the body rapidly with little processing through the kidneys or liver. With anesthesia machines, veterinarians can control the uptake and elimination of inhalation anesthetics more easily. Better control makes inhalation anesthesia a very safe choice.

Sevoflurane, the active ingredient in SevoFlo, has been used in human medicine since 1995 (especially pediatrics). Sevoflurane enters and exits the body very rapidly. This gives your veterinarian good control during the surgical procedure assuring a high degree of safety for your pet. Thanks to this speed, SevoFlo allows your pet to return to a normal awake-state and home with you sooner.

Will my pet even know if he gets SevoFlo?
Unlike many other inhalation anesthetics, which have a pungent or irritating odor, SevoFlo smells sweet, similar to fruit-flavored chewing gum. Because of the agreeable smell, your pet is less likely to resist breathing in the anesthetic and will fall asleep quickly and with minimal stress. When the medical procedure is complete, your pet will usually begin waking up within a few minutes.

Is SevoFlo expensive?
SevoFlo is a more modern and advanced anesthetic, and will add to the total cost of the surgical procedure compared with injectable or other inhalation anesthetics.

Is SevoFlo safe if my pet is old or overweight or has some other complication?
Any anesthetic agent carries some risk. Due to the high level of control SevoFlo affords your veterinarian, risk for any pet is minimized. SevoFlo can be adjusted for geriatric or debilitated pets easily and rapidly.

What can I do to assure my pet's safety & rapid recovery?
Discuss in detail with your veterinarian your pet's pre-surgery condition, including any health factors you feel put your pet at risk. Stress is a factor before and after surgery. Help your pet remain calm by talking softly, rewarding desired behavior and staying calm yourself.

When it's time for your pet's surgery, you want him safe, you want him comfortable, and you want him home quickly!