Surgical Services

Almost all pets will have to undergo some type of surgery during their lifetime. Advances in medical technology have made surgery and anesthesia safer than ever for both humans and animals. We can tailor an anesthetic protocol based on your pets history and medical status. There are a few things to keep in mind before your pet comes in for surgery. The physical stress of surgery may weaken your pets immune system for a short time. Therefore it is important that he or she is vaccinated and free of internal parasites. You will need to fast your pet from 8:00 on the night before surgery. Water is fine to leave out during the night but no food. If your pet is having elective surgery such as a spay or neuter there are a few options for you to consider. One is preanesthetic bloodwork. This will give us a basic look at your pets organs such as the liver and kidney’s as well as indicate abnormalities such as infections, anemia or dehydration. By having a complete picture of your pet’s health we can determine which anesthetic drugs are most appropriate and what extra precautions need to be taken before, during and after the surgery. Another option is IV fluid therapy during the surgery. This will help maintain your pet’s bloodpressure as it drops with the anesthetic. It also helps flush the anesthetic through the kidneys after surgery. The IV catheter also gives us immediate access to the bloodstream should complications arise during surgery. We can discuss these options with you when your pet comes in for a presurgical exam a week or two before surgery. When your pet comes home after surgery you will need to keep him or her quiet and confined for a few days to allow time to heal. Dogs should only go for short leash walks and cats should be confined to a small area of the house. Animals that go home the same day such as those having a dentistry or cat neuter will be a bit groggy from the anesthetic. You will need to keep an eye on them around stairs, table legs etc. They should also only get a small meal that night to prevent vomiting. If they are still hungry a few hours later you can give them a little more.

Dental Care

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Did you know that over 85% of pets over one year of age have some degree of dental disease? Just as people need routine dental scaling, so do our pets. Most animals need their first professional cleaning when they reach 3-5 years of age. A general anesthetic is required to thouroughly clean above and below the gumline and also ensures that no water or debris can be aspirated into the lungs during the procedure.

As pets age they may require more extensive dental care. Dental x-rays can help determine the underlying condition of damaged or decaying teeth. Any necessary extractions can them be completed at the same time as the scaling. More extensive procedures such as root canals, which can save a potenially viable tooth that has been fractured can be referred to a veterinary dental specialist at the Vet College.

After a dental cleaning your pet will not only smell better but feel better as tartar is no longer iritating the gumline. Dental care is also important for overall health as bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream when tartar is present at the gumline and lead to serious kidney, liver and heart disease.

To see what happens at a day at the pet dentist, take a look at our dentistry photo album the next time you’re in the clinic.

royal city animal hospital

Orthopedic Surgery

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Orthopedic surgery is the surgery of bones. This includes hip surgery, knee surgery and repairing broken bones. Most orthopedic surgery is preformed by a board certified surgeon who travels to our clinic. This type of surgery can be very difficult and requires considerable expertise and training. After your pet has orthopedic surgery he or she will require a great deal of care at home. Strict cage rest is usually required for several weeks followed by a routine of physical therapy to help your pet regain use of the affected limbs.

Declawing in Cats

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General Information

Scratching with the front claws is normal, instinctive behaviour for cats. The purpose of this activity is to remove old, worn fragments of the nails, keeping them sharp. Although scratching is normal for cats, this behaviour can be destructive and costly in the home. For many cat owners, declawing is the only solution.
A declawed cat should be confined indoors because the claws are its primary means of defense. A house cat has little need for defense and is a more suitable pet because it can no longer ruin furnishings or scratch people.

Surgical Procedure

Your cat will come in the night before the surgery and we will apply a pain patch that releases a constant dose of pain medication through the skin. This patch will stay on for three days. On the day of surgery your pet will be given a preoperative physical examination to help ensure its safety during anesthesia and surgery. The operation is preformed under general anesthesia and consists of surgical removal of the nail and attached bone. The tiny incisions are closed with dissolving sutures or tissue glue. The paws are then bandaged and recovery is generally uneventful. Your cat will stay in the hospital for two more nights so we can monitor his/her recovery and keep him/her calm and confined. After the bandages are removed in the hospital, your pet will be able to walk normally, although tenderness may be evident for a few days.

Home Care After the Surgery

Activity: Your cat should be kept as quiet as possible for 4-5 days after the surgery. If possible, he/she should be confined to a small area at night or when you are away for long periods of time during the day. It is also important to keep your cat from jumping for several days to allow the paws to heal.

Bleeding: Occasionally a cat breaks open one of the small scabs where the nail was removed.
A few drops of blood followed by rapid cessation of bleeding is normal. Call us if bleeding persists.

Litter box: Your cat will be sent home with special litter made of compressed newspaper.
This should be used for 5-10 days while the paws heal.

Spaying in Dogs and Cats

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General Information

royal city animal hospitalOvariohysterectomy is the medical term for spaying a female dog or cat. The surgery is usually performed at 5 to 7 months of age, before the first heat period. After the surgery there will be no more heat cycles and your pet will not be able to get pregnant. The risk of developing uterine infections and mammary tumors is also greatly reduced
Frequently asked Questions

Will it make my cat fat and lazy?

No. Obesity is caused by excessive calorie intake and is not affected by the surgery. Weight can be controlled by proper feeding and exercise.

Will it change her personality, disposition or intelligence?

No. Dogs’ personalities do not fully develop until 1 to 2 years of age. If there is a personality change in a dog spayed at a young age, it would have occurred without the surgery.

Are there any problems associated with spaying?

A very small percentage of dogs have trouble holding their urine as they become older. This is normally controllable with medication.

Shouldn’t my cat have a litter first?

No. There is no advantage in allowing your cat to have a litter of kittens. In fact every heat cycle your pet has puts her at greater risk of uterine infections and uterine or ovarian tumors as well as increasing her risk of surgical complications.

Surgical Procedure

Your pet will be given a preoperative physical examination to help ensure her safety during anesthesia and surgery. Though it is routinely performed, ovariohysterectomy is major abdominal surgery requiring general anesthesia and sterile operating technique. A small incision is made and the ovaries and uterus are removed. Depending on the case, removable or dissolving sutures will be used to close the incision. Recovery is generally uneventful. Your pet will stay in the hospital overnight so we can monitor her recovery and keep her calm and confined overnight.

Neutering in Dogs

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General Information

Castration (neutering) is the surgical removal of the testicles. When a dog is castrated before sexual maturity (6 to 8 months of age), the sexual characteristics fail to develop and the dog is sterile (unable to impregnate a female). Castration usually (but not always) reduces a dog’s tendency to roam and fight. The general level of aggression may also be reduced. However, castration is not a replacement for obedience training by the owner. Castration also helps prevent diseases of the testicles and prostate.

Surgical Procedure

Your pet will be given a preoperative physical examination to help ensure his safety during anesthesia and surgery. The operation is performed under general anesthesia. A small incision is made and the testicles are removed. Sutures may or may not be required depending on the case. Recovery is generally uneventful. Your dog will stay in the hospital overnight so we can monitor his recovery and keep him calm and confined overnight.

Neutering in Cats

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General Information

Castration (neutering) is the surgical removal of the testicles. When a cat is castrated before sexual maturity (6 to 8 months of age), the sexual characteristics fail to develop and the cat is sterile (unable to impregnate a female). Sexually-driven behavior, such as roaming, fighting, and urine spraying, is either eliminated or markedly reduced. Neutered males may still enjoy hunting such things as mice, chipmunks, birds, and crickets. Neutering also reduces the strong urine odor associated with male cats.

Surgical Procedure

Your pet will be given a preoperative physical examination to help ensure his safety during anesthesia and surgery. The operation is performed under general anesthesia. Two small incisions are made in the scrotum and the testicles are removed. Sutures are not required as the incisions are quite small and heal very quickly. Recovery is generally uneventful and the hospital stay is short. Your pet will be able to go home later the same day.

Spaying

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Spaying your pet has many benefits. The procedure, which prevents female animals from becoming pregnant and reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. Spaying will not change your pet’s personality.

By spaying your female pet, you’re protecting her against potentially deadly diseases, including bacterial infections, reproductive tract diseases, and several types of cancer. You also won’t have to worry about her going into heat. This means avoiding the mess that often accompanies the heat cycle in female dogs and the pacing and crying that happens with female cats. In addition, spaying your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.

Spaying, which involves removing the ovaries and uterus, is a surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under anesthesia. We follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure her safety. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.

To set up an appointment to have your pet spayed or to learn more about this procedure, call or visit our clinic. If you are struggling with the decision of whether to spay your pet, please call us so we can discuss your concerns.

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