Your Pet's Surgery at OCVH

Your Pet’s Surgery at Ocean County Veterinary Hospital

The benefits of spay (ovariohysterectomy) and neuter (castration) surgeries are so well understood that most responsible pet owners don’t think twice about scheduling the surgery.  Not quite as widely understood is the fact that surgical standards of care, from pre-admission to post-discharge, can vary widely from one hospital to another.  Some people shop around for the best price without fully understanding why the cost varies among practices.  This information will help you find the best fit between our standard of care and your expectations for your pet’s care and safety.

What You Should Ask – And Why

1. Will my pet receive a complete physical exam before surgery?
An animal that suffers from a disorder such as a parasite infection, an infectious disease or a heart murmur presents a different risk factor that must be taken into consideration prior to the surgery.  A pre-surgical exam and pre-anesthetic blood test is your pet’s chance to have adverse conditions detected.  Age-appropriate blood tests also reveal problems that aren’t obvious.  Our doctors make sure each pet is a good candidate for surgery with a complete physical exam and pre-anesthetic blood tests.

2. What safety precautions are taken during surgery?
While most surgery is uneventful, emergencies sometimes occur.  During surgery, the medical team at OCVH includes your pet’s veterinarian and a dedicated veterinary technician.   Detecting problems early improves our ability to intervene and correct them.  We place a breathing tube on all anesthetized pets to keep the airway open and allow for supplemental oxygen or gas anesthesia as needed.  A heart (ECG), blood pressure and oxygen monitor allows the surgeon to track your pet’s heart rate and rhythm, as well as the amount of oxygen in the blood to ensure that respiration and circulation are normal.  In addition, patients receive IV fluids during surgery to support circulation as needed.  Even the anesthesia and sutures we use are carefully evaluated and selected based on safety, effectiveness and reaction potential.

3. What safety precautions are taken after surgery?
Surgery patients lose body heat through anesthesia and the opening of the body cavities.  We monitor patient temperature at regular intervals during and after surgery and provide supplemental heating as needed.  We also monitor your pet’s gum color, pulse and respiration to ensure that respiration and circulation are normal.

4. How is my pet’s pain managed?
Surgery hurts!  The anesthetic does not provide pain control once the pet wakes up, so in addition to analgesics provided during surgery, we provide pre- and post-operative pain control medication.

5. Will I receive written post-surgical care instructions? 
Follow-up care is crucial for proper healing.  A comfortable pet experiences less stress and a lower likelihood of injury during recovery.  A doctor or team member will discuss your pet’s post-operative care, provide clear, written discharge instructions and pain medications.  And of course, we’ll answer any questions you might have whenever you might have them because your comfort is just as important to us as your pet’s.