Pre-Surgical and Post-Op Instructions for surgical patients at Orange County Animal Clinic

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Pre-Surgical Instructions

It is important that your pet have no food, including treats, after 10 pm the night before surgery. He/She may have water up to the time of check-in the morning of surgery. These precautions are taken to reduce the chance of your pet vomiting during the procedure and aspirating while under anesthesia. If your pet does have food after 10pm, it will be necessary to cancel the procedure and reschedule for their own safety.



We ask that you drop your pet off the morning of surgery between 7:30 and 9:00 am. If it is more convenient for you, you can drop off before 5 pm the night before at no additional costs to you. Please allow 10-15 minutes for check-in. When you get here, we will have consent forms for you to sign and we will confirm the procedures) being performed and any additional services you might want done while your pet is in our care.

Surgery Options

In an effort to provide you with peace of mind and your pet with the best medicine we can, we offer optional services with each surgical procedure. These are at an additional cost and you will provide consent at check-in.

  • Pre-Anesthetic Bloodwork - Certain medical conditions can create complications for pets under anesthesia. This is why Dr. Cooper recommends a preoperative blood panel for your pet. It will check major organ function, check blood counts and check electrolyte levels. This information can assist Dr. Cooper in making decisions that will make surgery as safe as possible for your pet.
  • Aesculight Surgical Laser - With the surgical laser, there will still be an incision but the laser will make recovery quicker and less painful for your pet. The surgical laser cauterizes vessels as it cuts, resulting in less blood loss. It also makes a finer cut, damaging less cells. For our surgical patients over 30 pounds, surgical laser will be included in the price of the spay or neuter cost. We have found that with pets of this size, less complications arise with use of the surgical laser.
  • K-laser Post Surgical Treatment - The K-laser treatment increases blood flow to the wound which allows the body’s own immune cells to get to the area where they are most needed. The K-laser decreases inflammation and stimulates cytokines that speed the healing process. In short, the therapeutic laser treatments promote healing! Doses of medication are reduced in pets receiving laser treatments to wounds due to pain relieving properties of laser and the increased blood flow. K-laser helps your pet heal faster and with less pain!


Post Surgical Instructions

Your pet has undergone a surgical procedure and will experience some degree of trauma. The following will help answer the most common questions that arise after a surgical procedure. An animal’s pain threshold is much higher than a human’s, therefore, animals do not exhibit as much discomfort following surgery. Your pet was given a pain injection as part of the surgical recovery process today. Do not allow excessive playing, jumping or running. This may delay the normal healing process.


Each animal recovers from anesthesia at a different rate. Some animals are back to normal with 24 hours, while others may take as long as 3-4 days to fully recuperate. Your pet will not be discharged from the hospital if he or she is unable to walk out; however, some animals may still stagger slightly upon release. Your pet will recover from surgery faster if the convalescent time is spent at home. Surgical patients need to be kept in a warm environment as it is normal to have a bit of difficulty maintaining normal body temperature after coming out of anesthesia. Remember: not too hot, not too cold! Pets that have had surgery should be confined indoors for 24 hours because after being under anesthesia he/she may not have a clear head and may not be able to determine safe from unsafe situations.


Your pet may eat supper the evening it returns home. You may give a very small amount of food and a very small amount of water. If your pet does okay with this meal, doesn’t vomit, he/she may have several small meals through the evening. However, if your pet vomits after eating, it is best to limit intake to small amounts of ice chips until morning.

The Incision

It is important that you check the incision at least once daily. Animals will often lick at the incision site. This can be a result of itching from being closely shaven or irritation from the suture material. DO NOT LET YOUR PET LICK EXCESSIVELY AT THE INCISION SITE. If you pet is licking, you will need to return to the clinic to get an e-collar (cone) for your pet to wear to prevent further licking.

A small amount of hemorrhage, or swelling, will occasionally occur at the incision site. This occurs when blood pools under the skin. When the animal moves, a drop or two may discharge through the sutures. If bleeding is excessive or continues for more than 24 hours, please call our office.

Occasionally a hard lump will appear at the incision site. This is often a reaction to the suture material or can be a result of blood pooling under the skin. If it get noticeably larger, please call us.

Your pet should not have a bath or swim until the incision is healed completely. This usually takes 10-14 days on standard surgical procedures.


It is very important that shredded paper, rather than litter, is used in the litter box for two weeks following surgery.

Unless otherwise noted, all sutures are absorbable; therefore, no return visit for suture removal is needed.

It is important that you DO NOT administer any human products such as aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, Aleve or any other over the counter pain relievers (including herbs). These products can be harmful and even toxic for your pet!

For general information, questions, appointment requests:

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Or Call Us at:

Orange County Animal Clinic

2840 N. State Rd. 37 P.O. Box 68
Paoli, IN 47454
(812) 723-2553


Monday 7:30am - 5:00pm

Tuesday 7:30am - 5:00pm

Wednesday 7:30am - 5:00pm

Thursday 7:30am - 5:00pm

Friday 7:30am - 5:00pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed