frequently asked questions
When can my pet eat or drink after surgery?
A: Unless otherwise specifically stated in the discharge instructions, Dr. Dew and Dr. Hodgson ask that you offer your pet a small amount of water shortly after arriving home. If your pet drinks and does not vomit after an hour’s time, offer a bit more water. Again after 1 hour, if no vomiting has occurred, offer a small amount of food. If that is eaten, then wait 2 hours. If no vomiting has occurred after those 2 hours, then resume your normal food and water schedule. It is not unusual for an animal to not have much of an appetite after surgery, so it may take 1-2 days before your pet’s appetite returns.
Why hasn’t my pet urinated or defecated yet?
A: We expect all patients to urinate within 24 hours of being home. If this has not occurred please call our office, your veterinarian, or an emergency clinic in your area. It is not unusual due to fasting and decreased appetite for patients to not have any defecation for 1-3 days post surgery. If your pet is straining to defecate, then you should contact our office, your veterinarian, or your local emergency clinic.
When do I need to take off the transdermal pain patch?
A: The patch is effective for 48 hours after application. The patches are applied immediately after surgery, so depending on the date of discharge the patches can be removed 1-4 days after surgery.
Does he/she need the pain medicine that was sent home while he/she still has the transdermal pain patch on, or should I wait until it is removed?
A: We ask that all medications be started within 6 hours of arriving home unless otherwise noted in the discharge instructions.
I have kept him/her very near me ever since I brought him/her home from your clinic, and he/she is still whining. Is he/she in pain?
A: Sufficient pain medication has been administered and dispensed to reduce or eliminate pain and discomfort. A side effect of narcotics is mild anxiety; this will often cause some whining. In most cases the best action is to act normally around your pet and encourage then to be as active as the discharge instructions allow.
Can he walk down the stairs from the back door to the backyard? It’s only 2-3 steps…?
A: We ask that all dogs be kept on a leash after surgery for a predetermined length of time. In most cases, unless otherwise noted, they can walk up and down steps as long as they are on a leash and under control.
She doesn’t want to drink any water, and it’s been 6 hours from the time we picked her up. It says in your letter that if 6 hours pass and my pet isn’t drinking or eating to call. Is this okay?
A: When you call we will ask you to put some water on your pets tongue, this is often all that is required to stimulate them to drink.
He/she has never been crated before. Is it really necessary to crate my pet, or can I use a small space? What kind of flooring is acceptable?
A: If a dog has not been crate trained, it is ill-advised to put them in a crate immediately after surgery. In these cases, if confinement is part of the discharge instructions, we ask that the pet be confined to a small area of about 3×5 ft. If that type of space is not available, then we recommend a small room with no furniture on which your pet would be inclined to climb. It is best to have some type of non-slip or limited slip flooring for the patient.
Do you do surgery on guinea pigs? They’re a small animal……?
A: Yes and you are correct they are a small animal. Dr. Dew completes procedures on birds, reptiles, primates, rodents for zoos and private individuals. He has recently repaired a broken leg on a duck which was transported from the Memphis, Tennessee area.
My pet has had a bilateral knee procedure done. How do I provide support for him/her when going outside to urinate or defecate?
A: We offer a great harness to help these patients. If you do not wish to purchase a harness, then a towel may be used under the abdomen to serve as a sling.
Why is it necessary for me to bring my pet back in for a 2 week recheck visit?
A: We strongly advise returning for a 2 week recheck. While surgical complications are very rare, these issues are much better handled sooner rather than later. We find that most clients have 1 or more questions which, when we are given the opportunity to answer properly, allow us to facilitate the recovery of their companion or ease their minds.
Is it OK for me to give my pet a human joint supplement? If not, what do you recommend?
A: Dr. Dew recommends Glycoflex. He has over 20 years experience with this product, has visited the facility in Vermont where it is made, and is confident in the results which he has seen. With thousands of supplements available, it is impossible to make comments on them all.
It has been 4 weeks since his TTA surgery. We are walking at least 4 miles a day. He is limping when we get home. Is this normal?
A: The TTA procedure involves moving both bone and soft tissue, these healing tissues become sore when pushed to new limits. The discharge instructions describe a regimen of gradually increasing leash walks.
Why is it necessary to do pre-anesthetic bloodwork?
A: This is one of the major ways, along with a physical exam, that we have of determining if a patient has any underlying medical issues that might put them at risk from anesthesia. If there is a possible risk tied to anesthesia, we may use a different anesthetic regimen.
Is there a place for me to stay overnight with my pet before our consultation that is pet-friendly?
A: Yes there is. The Quality Inn, located down the street from Azzore Veterinary Specialists is pet-friendly. Tell them Dr. Dew sent you.
Is there a place for me to stay overnight after our consultation while waiting to be able to pick up my pet the next day after surgery?
A: Yes there is. The Comfort Inn and Suites located across the street from Azzore Veterinary Specialists, is a great place to stay over night without your pet. If you will be arriving early and need a place to stay with your pet, check in to the Quality Inn.
Why is it necessary to fast my pet the night before a procedure, surgery or even radiographs?
A: We recommend fasting 6-8 hours prior to anesthesia in order to minimize the possibility of vomiting, aspiration, and the problems associated with an excessively distended abdomen which can compromise respiratory function. Fasting may also decrease the possibility of vomiting in the midst of transit for those pets that get anxious traveling. Exceptions include diabetics, which we recommend on the day of the procedure feeding normally, but giving half the dosage of insulin. Puppies and kittens less than a year old should be fed per their normal routine. Water can be offered normally.
Why does my pet need to be kept overnight after surgery?
A: An overnight stay gives us the ability to further monitor our patients should any complications arise post-procedure. For some, depending on the age and/or the surgical procedure itself, we may prefer to continue IV fluids over night. If your pet is having a procedure with Dr. Hodgson, release will probably be the same day.
My animal had surgery on the rear leg so why does he have a bandage on the front leg?
A: All of our surgery patients have an IV catheter placed and fluids administered during their procedure. The bandage on the non-surgical leg is a temporary “band aid” post IV catheter removal. This can be removed as soon as you get your pet home.
How can I get the sticky stuff off of my pet after I remove the transdermal patch?
A: To prevent the possibility of irritating the skin area with caustic substances we recommend just letting the residual glue wear off on its own.
Can my pet be boarded there for more than one day post his/her procedure?
A: Although we are not a boarding facility, should an animal need to stay due to circumstances surrounding his procedure, arrangements can certainly be made. There will be a charge incurred for this service as well as any necessary treatments.
Will my pet be deaf after his TECA procedure?
A: The only type of hearing scientifically documented is bone conductive hearing, which is assessed under anesthesia with sound affecting brain wave patterns. This “hearing” is preserved after an ear ablation. Historically what clients have perceived is as follows: surgery on one ear, no change in behavior or activities noticed; surgery on both ears: approximately 50% will perceive some level of improved hearing; 25% will perceive no change and the remaining 25% will say their pet is deaf.
My pet had an upper airway surgery. He still snores. Is that normal?
A: After surgery upper airway noise will often continue to decrease for 3-4 weeks. Although the ability to breathe is greatly improved, the airway will never be considered normal. As a result, snoring, though greatly diminished, may still be present.