Here at Healing Paws Veterinary Care, we know that your pet is a family member and that means them having surgery is a big deal. Our veterinarians expect and offer the quality of surgical and anesthetic care that your pet deserves and treats both you and them as family.
Safety, comfort, pain management, communication, and love are the foundation of a good experience.
Pet Surgery in Carlisle, PA
Here at Healing Paws Veterinary Care, we know that your pet is a family member and that means that them having surgery is a big deal. Our veterinarians expect and offer the quality of surgical and anesthetic care that your pet deserves. On your pet’s anesthesia day, you will leave them in our hands, knowing exactly what safety precautions are being taken and feeling confident that our dedicated team will provide the level of care that they would demand for their own family members. We have required standards of care focused on safety, minimizing pain and stress, and providing home-like comfort. It is our job to make sure that both you and your pet have the safest and most pleasant surgical experience possible. We focus on quality of care rather than quantity of patients fit in a day – your pet will be treasured by our team. To learn more about scheduling your pet’s surgery and about the steps we take to provide this care, please see below.
SURGERY SCHEDULING CHECKLIST FOR PET OWNERS:
- 1. Your pet must have a current examination by a Healing Paws Veterinary Care veterinarian.
- 2. You will need to request to schedule your pet’s anesthesia procedure through our mobile app, email or phone call.
- 3. Once they have received your request, our team will send a personalized treatment plan via email that includes your pet’s anesthesia prep visit, bloodwork, anesthetic care, surgical procedure, medical, nutritional and alternative management of pain, nausea and stress and much more!
- 4. Please agree to this treatment plan by replying to the email, calling or reaching out via our mobile app and a team member will take your 50% down payment in order to reserve both the anesthesia prep visit and surgical procedure appointment.
- 5. Your pet will have an anesthesia preparation visit with our certified veterinary technician 2 weeks prior to their procedure. At this visit an exam and anesthetic planning bloodwork will be performed and anesthesia prep medications will be sent home.
- 6. Approximately one week prior to the procedure you will receive an email with an electronic form to provide anesthesia consent and pre-register your pet. This form is required to be submitted by 48 hrs prior to your pet’s procedure.
- 7. On the day of their procedure, your pet will spend the day with us. (All pets arrive in the morning at a scheduled time between 7:30 and 8:30 am and go home in the afternoon at a scheduled time between 3 pm and 5 pm.)
- 8. You will go home with comfort medications in order to keep pain, stress, and nausea to a minimum. Our team will provide a detailed care instruction sheet and offer helpful tips to make giving that medication easier.
- 9. If your pet receives sutures or staples, they will return to the practice in 7-10 days for a certified veterinary technician to examine the incision and remove those sutures or staples.
- 10. We always welcome questions – if you have any before, on the day of, or after your pet’s procedure please be sure to app chat, email or call us. We want to help your pet and you have the safest and most pleasant anesthetic procedure possible and are here to provide you answers and solutions!
A Look At Your Pet’s Experience
Night Before the Procedure
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.
Morning of the Procedure
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.
Day of the Procedure
- 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 EXPERIENCE:
- 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!
PICKING UP YOUR PET:
- 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!
Night After the Procedure
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.
Days Following the Procedure
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.
BOWEL MOVEMENTS: 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!