Fear Free Surgery Premedication
It’s extremely important to us to try & make ALL of your pet’s interactions with us be as positive as possible! To minimize the anxiety associated with being hospitalized & the pain associated with undergoing surgery, we recommend that your pet be given a couple of doses of medication prior to their surgery. This protocol was introduced to us by a board certified veterinary behaviorist who has seen great results with it. For dogs, this will involve taking 2 medications, trazodone & gabapentin, with one dose given at bedtime the evening before surgery, and again the following morning prior to being admitted for surgery. The dog will also be given a dose of lorazepam prior to going home which should help minimize the amount of recall he/she has regarding the surgery. Cats will be given one medication, gabapentin, the evening before & then morning of their procedure. In some instances owners can be given their pet’s premeds at their last puppy or kitten visit, but for large breed puppies whose weight will change dramatically in the period of time prior to surgery, we hope you will be able to swing by to weigh your pet & pick up his/her medication in the week before surgery. Some pets will become lethargic after taking the medication, while others might not be that affected, at least outwardly. Please note that in almost all cases, your pet will go home with pain medication.
Your pet can eat and drink as usual until the night before surgery. Close to bedtime, give your pet the fear free medication & remove the food bowl. Please do not feed anything after 10 pm. A small amount of water may be left out overnight (approximately ½ cup per 20 pounds). On the morning of surgery, once again give your pet the fear free medication. If needed, you may give the smallest possible amount of food (for instance 1/4 piece of bread or cheese, or 1 teaspoon of peanut butter) to achieve this. *If your pet is on a special diet for medical reasons & this is all he/she eats, please bring a small amount with you on the day of surgery so that we can offer a little once your pet is fully awake.
When Do We Arrive?
On the day of surgery, please arrive at your previously discussed check-in time which should fall between 7:00 am and 7:30 am. A nurse will admit your pet, go over an estimate & answer any questions you may have. Please allow 15-20 minutes so that we can properly admit your pet. We begin our surgical procedures shortly after 8:00am during which time a nurse may not be immediately available to admit your pet. Unless other arrangements have been confirmed, we need to have your pet arrive by 7:30am. Thank you for your cooperation! Your pet’s doctor will call you after surgery to let you know how the surgery went and to discuss when your pet can be released. Please know that your doctor may not call until lunchtime. This doesn’t mean that there is something wrong, just that the doctor is still doing surgeries & couldn’t get to the phone.
Things to Consider Before You Arrive
Anesthesia Consent Form: Please read our anesthesia consent form which can also be found on our website – anesthesia consent form. This will explain our recommendations for screening patients before they undergo anesthesia. If there is anything you do not understand, please discuss it with our team. We will review the form with you during patient check-in.
Deposit: If your pet is having a surgery that’s not routine for which set prices haven’t been established (anything other than a neuter, spay or routine dental), we will provide you with an estimate on the day of surgery so that you can review anticipated charges. Once accepted, we will collect a deposit of 50% of the estimated cost. The remaining balance will be due for all patients when the pet is picked up – no exceptions. Although we do not offer in-house financing, we do accept all major credit cards (MC/Visa/Discover/AmEx) & certain Care Credit plans. Please check with a receptionist as to which Care Credit plans we offer.
Microchipping: We recommend all pets to be microchipped. If your pet ever gets away, these permanent chips can provide shelters, veterinarians, etc. with your name, address and phone number so that your pet can be returned to you safely and in the most expedient manner. If you elect to have your pet microchipped, we will register your pet with Home Again using the address & phone numbers we have on file. Whether you decide to register* the following year is up to you, but your pet will be in their database indefinitely. Should your contact information change, please do not forget to call them to update it. *Registration gives you access to several features described on their website.
Contact Information & Pick Up: Please be prepared to provide us with all the contact numbers needed to get in touch with you at any time the day of surgery. Also bring emergency contact information in case we can’t contact you. A doctor or nurse will call you after surgery to let you know how your pet is doing & to confirm a pick-up time. In almost all cases, this is after 2pm.
Try not to worry! We will make your pet’s experience as positive as possible!!!