Surgery FAQ

Important things you need to know before your pet's surgery

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions answered for your convenience.


1What do I have to do to prepare my pet for a spay or neuter?
In general, no food after midnight the night before. Water they can have until they arrive. It wouldn't be a bad idea to take them on a good walk if possible prior to arrival.
2Do you believe in pre-op bloodwork and why?
Absolutely! Most of the anesthetics we use are processed and removed by the liver and kidneys, and knowing that they are working normally prior to the surgery is one way to ensure the best outcome ahead of time. Rarely do we have issues if they are fine. We also check for anemia, low blood sugar, electrolyte imbalances, and pre-existing hidden infections. We have a wonderful reference lab that can give us results usually within 24 hours. We also have in-house machines for day of surgery if needed. 
3What time do I drop my pets off?
For most routine surgeries (spays, neuters, etc), we recommend bringing your pet in between 8-9 am. The sooner they get here, the sooner we can begin prepping them for their big day. Also, the sooner we can get the procedure over with we can get them up and eating and drinking again. 
4What time do I pick my pet up?
We usually call you when the procedure is over and give you a time frame, but in general most pets are picked up between 3-5 PM unless they are spending the night.
5How do you monitor my pet during surgery?
All pets have at least two people assigned from start to finish to monitor your pet. Besides the basics like heart rate and temperature, we employ machines that monitor breathing rate (apnea monitor) and percent of red blood cells that are oxygenated (pulse oximetry).  Blood pressure is also assessed in depending on the procedure, age of patient, and other factors.  
6Can I get an estimate?
Of Course! For routine procedures like a spay or neuter, we can do over the phone if you know your pet's approximate weight. More complicated procedures should have a consultation done first so the veterinarian can better plan and assess your pet's particular needs and the scope of the procedure.  
7Is spaying/neutering going to alter my pet's attitude?
In general, what you see is what you get. It may calm them slightly, but in Dr. Gibson's experience a zebra doesn't change it's stripes.
8I/my parents/my friend had a 'perfectly healthy' pet die during a routine procedure in the 1980s, how do I know that won't happen?
It's hard to comment on cases like this, as not knowing what type of anesthetics, monitoring, etc were performed makes a HUGE difference. The truth is anesthesia varies by hospital and sometimes doctors within those hospitals. Some intramuscular injections still in use can literally paralyze a pet for hours. We use intravenous medications that don't hang around very long, and in some cases can be quickly reversed with another type of medicine. Most patients are intubated with a soft tube to provide a gas anesthetic for longer procedures and 100% oxygen directly to their lungs (room air is only 16% by comparison). The gas anesthetic is also very short acting. 
9Do you believe in pain management?
Yes we do. Veterinary medicine has come a long way since it first started and vets are becoming better at advocating for their patients that cannot speak. Pets have the same pain receptors we have and it's been shown that beginning even before the procedure with helpful medicines improves the patient's comfort level and successful outcomes. They no longer have to suffer in silence, and we are here to help. 
10Do you accept Care Credit?
Yes we do.

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The Veterinarian at Lake Oconee