Catalina Veterinary Specialists
Michael Singer, DVM, Diplomate ACVS
Pre-Surgical Instructions to Owners
Fast your pet from 10pm the day before surgery. Small amounts of water are OK until 6am the day of surgery. Failure to adhere to feeding restrictions may result in postponing or canceling your pet’s surgery and anesthesia. Please try to have your pet at the hospital between 8:30 am and 9:30am or check with your veterinarian for more specific drop-off instructions. Admissions are done at this time regardless of the time that the surgery is performed.
Have all appropriate pre-anesthetic lab tests done the week before the surgery if possible. Tell your veterinarian that you need a CBC and serum chemistry done. If possible, have the report faxed to us to avoid delays.
Report any unrelated illness (e.g. lethargy, poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, upper respiratory problems) or change in your pet’s condition to the admitting technician when you come in. It is important to report any drug or food allergy or epilepsy to the admitting technician.
Please understand that proper medical protocol dictates that we shave the fur over the surgical site, catheter site, and fentanyl patch site (if used). If this is unacceptable you must discuss this issue directly with the surgeon.
Bathe/Groom your pet prior to surgery, if possible. Bathing and grooming will not be allowed for several weeks/months after surgery depending on the procedure performed.
Please take all personal items, collars, leashes, and blankets home with you. Personal items for your pet are allowed provided they do not present a safety hazard for your pet. You must understand that we cannot guarantee the return of these items. If they become soiled they will go into general laundry, which is bleached, and if they get damaged they will be discarded.
What to Expect the Day of Surgery
We know that this is going to be a stressful day for you. Probably more so for you than your pet! But please try to be patient. Our first obligation is to the health and safety of your pet. You will be called after your pet has recovered from anesthesia. It is not possible to know exactly what time your pet will go into surgery. We have many patients and the decision as to the order in which patients go into the operating room is based on numerous factors such as the nature of their problem, any anticipated post-operative complications, equipment needed and last but not least, emergencies. Failure to have preoperative testing completed prior to the day of surgery will result in delays.
It is not unusual that we are confronted with a patient that requires urgent life-saving surgery. This delays surgery for all other patients and occasionally means that a procedure has to be delayed until the next day. These situations are unpredictable and are just a part of a “normal” day in a large hospital. Every effort will be made to expedite your pet’s surgery. If there are delays, we appreciate your understanding.
Please feel free to call your veterinarian later in the day to check on your pet’s progress but PLEASE…select one family member to make the calls. Limit the frequency of these calls. We understand your concerns but time spent on the phone is time taken away from attending to the care of our patients.
You must understand that there is risk involved with EVERY anesthesia and EVERY surgery. The type and degree of risk varies with the patient and the surgical procedure. DO NOT consent to surgery if you do not understand the procedure and risks involved. If you feel this has not been properly explained to you, just ask the surgeon to go over it with you again.
Discharging Your Pet from the Hospital
Discharges can take up to 30 minutes.
At discharge, make sure you understand the discharge instructions you are given and make sure you have all of the appropriate medications and understand the dosing schedule.
While you are still at the hospital, make a recheck appointment. These appointments fill up quickly so don’t delay.
If you have questions at home, call and speak to your veterinarian’s office or Catalina Veterinary Specialists. You will likely get a faster response if you ask to speak to a technician rather than a doctor. They are trained to answer most of your questions and will consult with the doctor if need be.
On weekends, if it is an urgent matter that must be handled during that time you should call or proceed to a local 24-hour emergency facility. Please check with your veterinarian as to which 24-hour facility they prefer.