A Look At My Pet’s Healing Paws Anesthesia Experience

We want your pet to have a safety focused, low stress anesthetic experience and we want you to know what is involved in their care. Please read below to know what to expect before, during, and after your pet has anesthesia at Healing Paws.


  • FOOD AND WATER: Please feed your pet their normal evening meal. Even if you don’t normally do so, please also feed an additional small meal (1/4 of the normal meal amount) between 10 pm and Midnight. This helps since they won’t be having breakfast in the morning. Once the bedtime snack is done, be sure to remove any access to food (even other pet’s food) but do not remove access to water.
  • MEDICATIONS: With supper please give any prep medications labeled “Night Before”. These medications are very important to keep them safe and comfortable tomorrow. It is normal if your pet seems tired or even a little “drunk” after receiving the medications. Anesthesia prep medications are meant to allow us to give lower volumes of injectable and gas anesthetics during the actual procedure so they do sometimes have a mild sedative effect.


  • FOOD AND WATER: Please make sure that water is still available – no food other than pill treats please.
  • MEDICATION: Please wake up early enough to give your pet their prep medications labeled “Morning Of” 2 hours prior to the admission appointment time. If your pet felt normal or even was quite tired last night and appears normal this morning, give the medication exactly as directed. If your pet was quite tired last night AND is still quite tired this morning, then do not give the medication but be sure to bring it along to the anesthesia appointment.
  • BATHROOM: Please be sure that your pet has had ample time to use the bathroom to urinate and defecate as most pets prefer going at home.


    • When you arrive in the parking lot – please text “ARRIVED” to the number on your parking space sign. Our phone lines will not yet be open and this will alert the anesthetic team of your arrival.
    • A veterinary assistant will come to the parking lot and ask you a few important questions – please allow at least 15 minutes in your morning for this time.
    • Your pet’s personal patient comfort specialist will escort them into the clinic where they will be settled into a room with comfy bedding, relaxing scents and a sound machine.
    • During the day your pet will receive plenty of snuggles, an intravenous catheter, medications to prevent pain, anxiety, and nausea, and will have a certified veterinary technician monitoring their safety and wellness throughout not only the procedure, but the entire day.
    • For most procedures, your pet will also receive Class IV laser therapy to reduce inflammation, speed healing and reduce pain.
    • Your pet’s procedure will be complete by early afternoon (or sooner depending on the surgeon’s schedule).
    • Please be sure to download our app so that you can receive updates about your pet during the day!
    • When you receive the invoice, please pay via our app – this makes discharge easier and faster!
    • When you arrive at your scheduled time, please text “ARRIVED” and a veterinary assistant will come to your vehicle to go over at-home instructions.
    • Your pet will then be brought to you by their patient comfort specialist who will show you the incision and be sure that all of your questions have been answered.
    • Your pet should be able to get into your vehicle easily, but if they cannot the specialist will help you!


  • BEHAVIOR: As with any of us after anesthesia, your pet is likely to feel tired, a bit nauseated and maybe not quite like themself. This is the time for you to schedule an evening at home to snuggle together! Sometimes other pets may treat them a bit differently the first night. If that happens just try to keep them in separate places and they will all be back to normal the next day!
  • FOOD: For supper, we are sending home a can of the appetizing (yet gentle on the tummy) prescription food. Please apply the natural probiotic Fortiflora powder on top of this food as it not only settles the stomach but also stimulates the appetite! You may warm the food gently if you like. Please offer this instead of your pet’s normal food and do not push them to eat if they do not want to.
  • MEDICATIONS: This evening, please be sure to give any medications sent home from the prep visit with the label “Night Of or Night After” in addition to any medications that say “Start Tonight”.
  • BANDAGE: If your pet went home with a bandage where the intravenous catheter was, please be sure to remove it about 1 hour after getting home. If any oozing of blood occurs, you may apply pressure with a cotton ball or ice cube wrapped in a paper towel. If any dried blood is on the site, please gently clean with warm water rather than hydrogen peroxide. Finally, just like with humans, some bruising can be normal at the intravenous catheter site.


  • SHAVED SPOTS: Your pet will be shaved for the procedure and have a few small shaved locations on their body. These are areas where anesthetic monitors were applied or medications were given. The hair should grow back within a few weeks. If you notice your pet licking the area, that is because shaved spots can sometimes be itchy. You can apply a bit of ice to the area to numb it if the itch is bothering them.
  • INCISION CARE: Please monitor your pet’s incision daily for 7 days. If it has increased bruising, swelling, heat, discharge, drainage, oozing or they are licking it, please email or app chat us a photo of the site and let us know when it started. Our certified veterinary technician will evaluate if a doctor needs to see the incision or if there is something you can easily do at home.
  • STITCHES: Most pets will not have sutures or staples, but if your pet does, a certified veterinary technician will remove them in 7-10 days. If your pet licks, they should wear an e-collar or recovery shirt at all times.
  • MEDICATIONS: Your pet has gone home with medications to prevent pain and help with recovery. You will receive a medication chart at discharge to use as a guide of what to give and when.
    • One bout of soft to liquid stool within 72 hours can occur. Do not be alarmed. If this happens more than once or there is any blood or it looks like black tar, please do let us know.
    • Some pets do not have a bowel movement for up to 72 hours. If they are straining to go, or seem to be in pain please let us know, but it is normal after a fast and anesthesia not to go right away.
  • VOMITING: One bout of mild vomiting within 24 hours can occur. If it does, hold back food and treats for 12 hrs. If this happens more than once or there is any blood or black tar present, please do let us know.
  • DRINKING: It is normal for your pet not to drink the first 12 hrs after their stay and for them to urinate more than usual. This is due to the fluid therapy given during their stay in order to provide blood pressure support.
  • PAIN: If at any time after the anesthetic procedure you question if your pet does not feel well or is in pain, please call us. We want to help you to determine if this is the case and, if it is, can help them feel better!
We know what it is like to have our own pets go through anesthesia and we want you to know that we are treating your pet just like they are our own!

Have a question about our surgical options for your pet? Please complete the form below and a member of our staff will get back to you as quickly as possible. If this is an emergency situation during business hours, please call us at 717-462-9480. You can request an appointment online by clicking here.

Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 10 files.