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Care Before and After Surgery

Before arriving, please familiarize yourself with the important information below to help your pet have the best possible outcome.

1. Rabies Vaccinations

If your pet is current with a Rabies Vaccination, please bring proof in the form of a certificate (tags are not acceptable forms of proof). Otherwise, pets three months of age and older, will receive a Rabies vaccination at the time of surgery for a charge of $20.

2. Fasting The Evening Prior to Surgery

Pets should not receive any food past 10pm on the evening prior to surgery.  All pets can have water up until the time of surgery.

3. Keep Your Pet Indoors

Pets should be kept indoors or confined the night before surgery. This ensures that they are not eating outside, which could potentially be dangerous during surgery.

4. Check-In Time is Scheduled 

Check-In times are generally scheduled between 7:30am-8:30am.  The admission process usually takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. We highly recommend submitting your appointment request online and complete emailed waivers before your appointment to save time. 

5. Check-in for Surgery

If it is possible to have your pet safely wait outside of the facility until you have completed check-in, please do so. Once we have your paperwork and have spoken to you about your animal's health, you will be asked to bring him/her in. All dogs must be on a leash and all cats must be in a carrier.

6. Method of Payment and Deposit

We accept payment in the form of cash, cashier’s check, debit or credit cards.  A $20 deposit is required to schedule a spay-neuter appointment.

7. About the Surgery

In female animals, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall, which makes them unable to get pregnant. In male dogs and cats, the scrotum is not removed, only the testicles. This prevents the production of sperm, meaning they will no longer be able to father puppies or kittens. Our patients are completely asleep during surgery and are unable to feel or move.

8. Tattoo = Spayed or Neutered

Female pets will receive a small, green tattoo near the incision site. This tattoo is not another incision—it’s just a small score in the top layers of the skin, filled with tattoo ink and covered with surgical glue. The tattoo will ensure that anyone examining your animal will know she has been sterilized.


What to Expect With Your Pet After Surgery

You must restrict your pet’s activity for the next 7 days to allow the tissue time to heal and to avoid causing the incision to open. Cats should stay indoors, when possible. All dogs should go out on a leash to urinate/defecate and then return inside to rest. Keep the incision site dry; do NOT bathe or apply topical ointment during the recovery period.


Be prepared to keep pets separate during the recovery period.

Check the incision site daily. The incision should have no drainage.  Redness, bruising and swelling will be minimal. Your pet has no external sutures (unless otherwise noted).  These sutures will absorb over time. Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision. If this occurs, an Elizabethan collar should be applied to prevent additional licking/chewing that could cause infection. This is particularly observed in male dogs. 

Offer small amounts of food and water the evening after surgery. Your pet may be uncoordinated and weak from anesthesia for the next 24 hours. It is normal for the them to feel some nausea and not want to eat. The appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery. Do not change your pet’s diet at this time, and do not give them junk food, table scraps, milk, or any other people food during the recovery period. Feeding them their regular diet will help avoid gastro-intestinal upset. Your pet may also have a slight cough/hack from the use of an endotracheal tube in the windpipe used for anesthesia during surgery.

Minimal redness and swelling of the surgery site should resolve within several days, as should any cough. But if they persist longer, please call our office 352-419-4439.

If the Animal received a vaccine at our clinic other than Rabies, please discuss scheduling a “booster” vaccination appointment with our staff. The Canine Distemper/Parvo vaccine, Feline Distemper/Leukemia vaccine, & Canine Leptosporosis vaccine should all, ideally, be “boostered” three to four weeks after administration of the first vaccine for maximum effectiveness. This is especially important for animals under 4 months of age, but also applies to adult animals receiving their first set of immunizations.

We will make every reasonable effort to treat at any post-operative complications resulting directly from the surgery at our Clinic, if the above post-operative instructions are followed in full. Your regular veterinarian must address illnesses or injuries that are not a direct result of surgery. 

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