Preparing for your Visit

A happy, healthy patient is one of our top priorities.The surgery team understands the anxiety associated with leaving your pet in the hospital for surgery. Please know that getting your pet on the road to recovery as soon as possible is our top priority and we strive to keep the wait time prior to surgery as short as possible.

Each day the surgical order for the day is determined by the condition of our patients. Those patients with the most life-threatening conditions are taken to surgery first, and in some instances, the surgical schedule may shift to accommodate an unforeseen emergency case. If your pet is moved back in the day’s schedule, please take comfort in knowing that he or she is still receiving the utmost care until the surgery can take place. We sincerely thank you for choosing CVSG and look forward to getting your pet back home safe and sound as soon as possible!

What’s on your pet’s agenda for the day?

As soon as your pet is dropped off for surgery all applicable diagnostic tests and pre-surgical preparations begin. During this time, all patients receive complete physical exams, labwork needed for anesthetic clearance, and, if deemed appropriate by the surgeon, IV fluids to maintain adequate hydration. Once all pre-operative diagnostics are complete, your pet will rest comfortably and receive routine potty breaks while they wait for surgery to begin.

Once it is your pet’s turn for surgery they will be taken to our surgery prep area where they will be placed under general anesthesia, shaved, and prepped for surgery. At this time you will receive a phone call from a surgery technician informing you that surgery is about to begin.

Immediately following surgery your pet will be moved to the ICU and monitored by an ICU doctor and technician. Once your pet has safely recovered from anesthesia, you will receive a phone call from the surgeon to discuss the outcome of the procedure, as well as address any questions or concerns you may have.

While recovering in the ICU, your pet will remain under constant supervision and be treated with the utmost care and compassion. Please feel free to call anytime, day or night, to speak with your pet’s ICU technician for an update. You are also welcome to visit you pet while they are hospitalized. Please see the hospital visitation policy for hours and recommendations.

What should you expect on the day your pet is discharged?

Each morning our surgeons meet with the ICU doctor to discuss your pet’s overnight recovery. At this time your pet will receive an exam by a surgeon to determine if it is safe to be discharged from our care. Once cleared to go home, you will receive a phone call from either the surgeon or a surgery technician to schedule a time to pick up your pet. Discharges are typically scheduled between 10am-6pm. However, we are happy to accommodate special circumstances that may prevent you from arriving during these times.

When you arrive at the hospital to pick up your pet, you will first check out with a client service representative located at the ER front desk. You will then meet with a surgery technician in an exam room where you will receive a post-operative home care instruction packet prepared specifically for your pet and their surgery. This packet includes a review of all prescribed medications, activity restrictions, follow-up appointments, and basic things to watch out for while your pet is recovering. The surgery technician will review the post-operative instruction packet with you and address any concerns you may have regarding your pet’s recovery. In addition to the packet provided, please feel free to call anytime with any questions or concerns, someone is always available to help.

Tips for preparing your home for your pet’s arrival:

It is very important to restrict your pet’s activity once they arrive home from the hospital. Allowing your pet to remain active and unrestricted puts them at risk for reinjury and a slower recovery time. The following are a few tips on how to prepare your home for your pet’s arrival:

• Move food/water dishes away from any walls and elevate, as your pet will find it challenging to access them while wearing an e-collar.

• Gate off a small area of your home to restrict your pet from moving freely around the house. If possible, use a crate or kennel to confine your pet during recovery. The crate should give your pet enough room to stand up and turn around, as well as fit all necessary items, such as food/water/litter box.

• Gate off access to all stairs. If necessary, recovering pets may use the stairs, but only when on a short, controlled leash.

• Prepare an area of your home where your pet can recover that is free of any furniture or other items they may be able to jump on.

• Find an area of your home where you can keep housemate pets away from your recovering pet, as housemate pets tend to want to play with or groom returning pets.

• Place a rug or towels on slick floor surfaces to prevent your pet from falling and risking reinjury.

• If applicable, purchase appropriate post-operative food or litter.

Please do not hesitate to call with any questions or concerns. We are here to help!