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Pre-operative Instructions


Please do not feed your pet any food after midnight before the scheduled procedure in preparation for anesthesia.  You can feed a normal dinner, then pick up the food before you go to bed so your pet doesn't snack overnight.  Please do continue giving water.  Please do give any prescribed medications the morning of surgery.


Drop off:  All patients should be dropped off between 8:30 am - 9:30 am the day of their scheduled surgery.  If you are not able to drop off during these hours your pet can board with us the night before so that they will be ready for the procedure on the scheduled day.


Pick up:  Most surgical patients are ready to go home the same day of the procedure between 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm.  We will call you with a pick up time and ask you to check out over the phone to expedite the discharge process when you come.  If you have not heard from us by 3:30 pm, please call us to receive a pick up time.


New pets adopted from Cumberland County Animal Control are normally brought to our clinic around 10:30 am.  Most new pets are ready to go home between 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm, but depending on their time of arrival and the number of new pet adoptions there is a small chance they will not be ready for discharge until the following morning.  Please call us anytime after 3:30 pm to check on the status of your new pet and to receive a discharge time.  If you know you want additional care for your new pet (intestinal worm check, heart worm check, bath, nails, etc.) please call us in advance at (910) 484-2131 and we will perform any appropriate tests/treatments while your new pet is still under anesthesia to make the visit as comfortable as possible.

Post-operative Instructions

Dog Spay and Castration or Cat Spay

  • Your pet has skin sutures that will need to be removed in 10 to 14 days.  Until those sutures are removed your pet should not be bathed or submerged in water to prevent bacteria from entering the wound.  If a bath is needed you can give a towel bath of the area as needed.

  • Pets will wake up from anesthesia and return to normal at different rates.  Don’t allow your pet at the top of stairs or anyplace that it could fall and get hurt.  Please only feed one quarter of a normal meal late tonight while you are watching in case your pet vomits from the effects of anesthesia.

  • Until sutures are removed your pet should be leash walked only.   Do not encourage wrestling, tug of war, or other especially active play until the sutures are removed. 

  • If your pet licks or chews at the suture site place an Elizabethan collar on immediately so that sutures aren’t chewed out and an infection doesn’t develop.

  • An injection was given at the time of surgery for pain and inflammation.  Most pets will not require any additional pain medications, but if your pet seems especially sensitive around the incision tomorrow you can call and request a prescription for additional pain control.

Cat Castration (Males)

  • Follow up care for a cat castration is the same as for a spay except there are no sutures.  Unless otherwise specified you do not need to return for a follow up appointment.

Cat Declaw

  • Your cat will need to return for a bandage change 3 days after surgery.  If this falls on a weekend or holiday you can recheck the work day before or after.

  • Some cats will pull their bandage off before their recheck appointment.  This is not an emergency.  Please bring them in the following business day to replace the bandage to reduce the risk of infection.

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