The Procedure explained
We admit most animals for surgical procedures between 8.30 and 9 am on the morning of the operation unless specifically organised otherwise. You will be asked to go through a consent form, ensure all details are correct and sign it to give us permission to perform the named procedure. We will also make a discharge appointment. Please ask us to explain anything you are unsure about and we can draw up an estimate for operations too. Remember that we may need to contact you to discuss anything we find that has not been signed for, for instance we may find a rotten tooth that requires removal, so please keep your phone on you or let us have your work number. We will check your pet over and weigh and record heart rate. We then will give them them a suitable premedication to help relax them, and pain relief if appropriate and then move them to the dedicated dog, cat or rabbit ward.
We have a dedicated surgical theatre, which is used for all sterile operations. Patients are anaesthetised in our prep room and clipped and cleaned before being moved into theatre. After their procedure we monitor their recovery and assess if more pain relief is needed. We will ring you to tell you they are coming around well. Most routine operations are only day procedures and can be collected between 3.30 pm and 6 pm at your pre-booked appointment. We politely request payment on the day.
Dogs and Cats
We advise to starve from about 8 pm the previous day but all animals must be allowed free access to water overnight. It is always nicer if you can take your animal for a short walk before bringing for surgery to allow them to urinate and defaecate. We advise keeping cats in so they cannot hunt, or dine out!
We will give specific instructions for each individual but after routine surgery most animals can have a small digestible meal on their return home. It is important they are kept warm and quiet the night after an operation. Cats must be kept in overnight as they may have impaired reactions and so be more prone to accidents, so ensure you have a litter tray. We will advise on wound management but please check for any swelling, redness or discharge daily. Excessive licking can cause wound infection and even breakdown so this must be stopped, either by covering the wound or using a buster collar if necessary. For most operations we recommend only short lead walks for 7-10 days.
Rabbits and small furries
These animals cannot vomit and have a very different digestion so please do not starve them. In fact it is important that they have a good breakfast and come in with their favourite “packed lunch”. If a rabbit is part of a bonded pair we recommend that they come in together to minimise stress and to prevent any problems on return home.
It is very important that the small pets eat post operatively so offer them their favourite treats, or syringe feed them if necessary. If they are not eating by the day after an operation please phone us for advice. For certain wounds we may advise changing the bedding to paper and towels, so wounds are not irritated and can be kept clean.
We would recommend neutering bitches from a clinical point of view for several reasons.
1. Entire bitches carry a much higher risk of mammary tumours. Each season they are allowed to have is associated with a higher risk percentage. Spaying before the first season massively reduces this risk.
2. Entire bitches are at risk of developing pyometra, an infection of the uterus. This can be dangerous for your bitch because it can develop into a toxic condition and involves having surgery under a higher risk situation.
3. Prevents false or ” phantom” pregnancies, which can be distressing for the bitch.
But in our modern over populated world it is also a social issue and needs to be something one considers when taking a pet on.
Neutering can be done before or 3 months after the first season. There are arguments for leaving larger breed bitches until after their first season so please talk to us about your individual pet, and also for full instructions and for booking in for the procedure.
Remember neutered animal do not have to be fat, they just require fewer calories!.
Male dogs also have clinical conditions associated with not being neutered.
1. They can develop hyperplasia of the prostate, prostatitis, and abscesses.
2. They are at more risk of developing anal adenomas (growths associated with the peri-anal area).
3. Testicular tumours are prevented; these are the second most common tumours in male dogs.
Again there are social issues that may be relevant, for instance entire males may use urination for territory marking. Castration will obviously reduce sexual drive too and therefore roaming. We are happy to neuter from 6 months of age, but please talk to us to decide when is the correct time for your pet.
For similar reasons we advise neutering of queens but also to control the cat population and the anti-social behaviour of fighting cats. Male cats if left entire can develop behavioural issues, marking of areas and fighting are very common. They are statistically more likely to suffer from road accidents, presumably due to increased roaming and have a higher incidence of FIV infection. We are happy to neuter female cats from 5 months of age as long as they are mature enough and a good body weight, sometimes even earlier. Male cats, dependent on their size, but usually from 5-6 months of age.
Rabbits are a gregarious species and the vast majority are happiest in bonded pairs or, if carefully introduced, groups. Whilst they can occasionally be same sex pairs, normally litter mates; these require prepuberty neutering, male or female, to prevent fighting. As a general rule however a neutered male/female pair is generally safer. Again with youngsters this needs to be done before puberty to avoid unwanted litters. If you have a single rabbit it is wiser to go to a rescue so that they can have some choice in their partner, just introducing a new rabbit of your choice is not always an easy bond! After extensive experience with a local rabbit rescue over the last 8 years we are happy to perform quite early neutering generally from 12-16 weeks. Neutering is very important therefore to allow bonded pairs; it also reduces frustration and often aggression. Many unneutered females in particular can be aggressive when hormonal. Unspayed female rabbits also have a very high incidence of uterine cancer.
Other Small Pets Many small pets such as rats, guinea pigs, chinchillas for example are regularly castrated for similar reasons. We less regularly spay these but contact us to talk about individual cases.