Ridgehill Animal Hospital

430 State Street
North Haven, CT 06473



What You Need to Know Before Your Pet's Upcoming Surgery

Is surgery safe?

Before any surgical or anesthetic event, our doctors perform a thorough physical exam on your pet and run baseline blood work to ensure your pet is deemed safe for anesthesia.  Depending on the age and health of each patient, other tests may be recommended or required by the doctor to ensure your pet is healthy for anesthesia. 

Anesthesia and surgical monitoring has changed drastically for the better over the years both in human and veterinary medicine.  We stay current on anesthetic drugs and monitoring equipment so that each and every pet has the best outcome with surgery.  Any scheduled surgery requires pets to be fasted over night as a precaution (water is okay to give).  Patients are admitted in the morning from 8-9 am so that they can be examined and prepped for surgery: an intravenous catheter, intravenous fluids, a breathing tube, and oxygen are standard.  A technician is along side the doctor during the procedure monitoring anesthesia and your pet's status. Current anesthetic drugs are fast acting and reversible, so some pets go home just as bubbly as they arrived.  Most pets go home the same day as the surgery but this depends on the procedure and the patient.  The doctor or the technician will call you after the procedure to give you an update and an estimated time to pick up your pet.

What will my pet's recovery be like?

Depending on the procedure and patient, either dissolvable stitches, removable stitches or removable stapes are placed.  Regardless of what is placed, monitoring the incision twice daily is necessary for look for signs of excessive redness, swelling, soreness, or discharge.  All patients need to be rested for at least 2 weeks while the incision heals so no running, jumping, stairs or rough play is permitted.  During the healing phase, only short leash walks to go outside to the bathroom are recommended.  Some patients will need an e-collar (cone) to protect the incision from getting infected by licking.  Stitches that aren't dissolvable need to be removed 2 weeks after the procedure.  

Will my pet be in pain?

Unfortunately, anything that causes pain in people also causes pain in animals and pets do not always show it hence why they are  nicknamed "silent sufferers".  Research in human and veterinary medicine has proven time and time again that pain has immense negative effects on healing, mental status, and physical performance.  Therefore, we ensure pain relief medications are given before, during and after surgery to reduce the amount of pain the pet experiences which will hopefully keep the visit a positive one and promote healing.  Depending on the pet and the procedure several, different forms or an extended period of pain relief medication may be needed but the doctors will discuss the pain relief plan that day with you.

What else do I need to know?

For obvious reasons, it is important that the primary care take of the pet is the person that admits the pet in the hospital the morning of the procedure.  Please plan for it to take 10 minutes for the hospital admittance between paperwork and discussion with the front desk.   An treatment plan with estimated prices is made for procedure and we will try our best to keep within the estimated cost.  Because surgery and science is not a guarantee, we will notify you if the charges will be significantly higher or other unseen procedures are needed.  

If for any reason the procedure has to be rescheduled or you will miss the admittance time for an extenuating circumstance, please call us as soon as you are aware so we can make arrangements in our schedule with both the patients and the staff.

Please don't hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns about your pet's health or procedure.