Frequently Asked Questions: Surgery

Surgery at VRC


Why do I fast my pet if surgery is not scheduled for the same day?

We ask that you fast your pet in the event that additional diagnostics need to take place. When your pet has eaten, it can sometimes change the results of a test so to get the most accurate information possible, fasting may be necessary even if your pet is not having surgery that day.

Will my pet experience discomfort before, during, or after their surgical procedure?

The level of discomfort your pet may experience all depends on the type of procedure that is taking place. For minor procedures, there may be little to no pain involved. For more advanced procedures, there may be some discomfort. However, we are very proactive about using medications to relieve pain and discomfort for your pet. When necessary, we provide medication before, during, and after the procedure that will allow your pet to feel comfortable and safe.

Is anesthesia safe for my pet?

Anesthesia is considered extremely safe in the veterinary field. Our trained doctors and nurses monitor your pet throughout the entire procedure to ensure his/her comfort and safety. We are experienced in providing anesthesia to all pets including higher-risk patients with sensitivities such as old age and weakness; heart, kidney, and liver disease; as well as other critical and/or unstable conditions. Anesthesia is such a valuable tool in veterinary medicine and you can rest easy knowing that your pet is in highly experienced hands at VRC.

How will my pet react to anesthesia and pain medication?

Every pet reacts differently to anesthesia and pain medication. Constipation is normal for 3-5 days after your pet’s surgery as long as there is no obvious straining. Decreased appetite and lethargy is also normal as long as they are eating small amounts. If you have a question regarding your pet’s behavior after a surgery, please give us a call at (610)647-2950.

What kinds of physical restrictions will be placed on my pet after surgery?

Physical restrictions placed on your pet after a procedure will depend on the type of operation that took place. Often, we recommend that your pet refrain from running, jumping, or any excessive activity until the first recheck. You can accommodate your pet by arranging his/her living space to include everything (s)he might need at a close distance. This will reduce his/her need to exert too much energy or movement, which helps result in a speedy recovery. You will receive more specific home care instructions upon your pet’s discharge from VRC.

Why is exercise restriction so important?

For the first two weeks, exercise restriction is essential for incision, muscle, and tissue healing. It prevents the incision from opening and causing complications. To maximize the success of your pet’s surgery, following discharge instructions regarding follow-up care is very important. This way, your pet can get back to their normal selves in no time! If you have any questions about your discharge instructions, please feel free to give us a call.

What care is involved with my pet’s surgical site?

Specific instructions with how to care for your pet’s surgical site will be included with your discharge paperwork before you leave the hospital. Every pet is different, which is why we provide care instructions that are catered specifically to your pet’s individualized needs. If you have any questions regarding the follow-up instructions you were given, please give us a call.

I live far away. Do I have to come back to VRC for rechecks?

We do suggest that you return for a recheck so that we can assess the healing process. However, we understand that not everyone lives close to our facility, so you can speak to your VRC surgeon about having your primary veterinarian perform the recheck exam. We always keep your primary veterinarian involved with the status of your pet throughout his/her time spent at VRC, which allows for a seamless transition from specialty to primary veterinary care.