Frequently Asked Questions About Surgery

From time to time, your pet may require surgery – from routine neuter and spaying procedures to other medical conditions or even emergency care. The qualified team at Shelley Veterinary Hospital will treat your pet with skill and compassion if surgery is required. First, we will conduct a thorough pre-surgical exam on your pet prior to any procedure, to ensure that a fever or other illness will not present complications.

You should not feed or water your pet for 8 hours prior to surgery, or as directed.

We utilize the safest available anesthetics, especially for our older or high-risk patients. The patient’s vital signs including blood pressure are continually monitored during all anesthetic and surgical procedures.

Post-Operative Home Care
You will need to keep your pet warm post surgery, especially if parts or all of the fur was clipped or shaved. Typically, your pet should be kept indoors a few days after surgery to prevent infections and other postoperative complications. Depending upon the surgery and your pet’s medical condition, your SVH veterinarian may prescribe a special diet. Hydration is very important, be sure your pet has access to plenty of clean water. Post surgery, cats in particular may lack appetite, so you may need to help your cat eat. If you notice that your cat is not eating, please contact SVH immediately.

If your pet has bandages on the surgery wound, ensure the pet doesn’t move away the bandages. The wound may easily get infected. If required, SVH can provide a special collar to prevent licking or pulling at the dressing. Change the dressing as indicated by SVH and check for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, discharge or fever.

Pain Treatment.
Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed – major procedures require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations. After surgery, pain medication is given on a case by case basis, and may be administered in the form of IV, tablets or injections. Your SVH veterinarian will consult with you about ongoing post-operative pain treatment for your pet.

Recovery Time
The recovery time post surgery depends on the type of surgery, the age of your pet and his health. Most pets recover from spay and neuter procedures within 2 weeks. For other procedures, please consult the SVH staff.

Other Considerations:
While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as dentistry, ear cleaning, or implanting an identification microchip.  If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please contact us prior to the date of surgery.


Frequently Asked Questions About Microchips

What is a microchip?
A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the same size as a grain of rice. The microchip itself does not have a battery—it is activated by a scanner that is passed over the area, and the radiowaves put out by the scanner activate the chip. The chip transmits the identification number to the scanner, which displays the number on the screen.

How is a microchip implanted into an animal? Is it painful? Does it require surgery or anesthesia?
It is injected under the skin using a hypodermic needle. It is no more painful than a typical injection, although the needle is slightly larger than those used for injection. No surgery or anesthesia is required—a microchip can be implanted during a routine veterinary office visit. If your pet is already under anesthesia for a procedure, such as neutering or spaying, the microchip can often be implanted while they’re still under anesthesia.

What kind of information is contained in the microchip? Is there a tracking device in it? Will it store my pet’s medical information?
The microchips presently used in pets only contain identification numbers. No, the microchip cannot track your animal if it gets lost.

How does a microchip help reunite a lost animal with its owner?
When an animal is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the first things the shelter will do is scan the animal for a microchip. If they find a microchip, and if the microchip registry has accurate information, they can quickly find the animal’s owner. Microchip identification databases are ‘online’ and accessible via the Internet or telephone 24x7x365.

Will a microchip really make it more likely for me to get my pet back if it is lost?
Definitely! A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time.

(Lord et al, JAVMA, July 15, 2009)

Does a microchip replace identification tags and rabies tags?
Absolutely not. Microchips are great for permanent identification that is tamper-proof, but nothing replaces a collar with up-to-date identification tags.

How much does it cost?
At Shelley Veterinary Hospital, we charge a one-time fee of $52 for microchip services. This includes implanting the chip along with registration with the national database. SVH is a partner of “Home Again” microchip services.