SURGERY 

INFORMATION

Your pet's safety and comfort are of utmost importance, always.

AT TOWANDA CREEK ANIMAL HOSPITAL

We have experienced surgeons, trained to perform routine procedures on dogs and cats.

WHY CHOOSE US?

We value your input and will communicate with you throughout the entire process.
  • We are proud to offer laser surgery

    • A revolutionary technique that minimizes swelling and bleeding during surgery and results in dramatically reduced pain and discomfort post-operatively

  • Prior to ANY surgical procedure, we thoroughly examine your pet, perform pre-anesthetic bloodwork, and communicate ANY risks or options your pet may have

  • During the procedure, a skilled veterinary technician, aided by state-of-the-art digital equipment, will monitor your pet's vital signs at all times

  • Your pet receives pain control prior to, during, and after the procedure to keep them comfortable and help speed their recovery

  • You will always be aware of costs involved in the procedure

  • If your pet requires a procedure we are unable to perform, we offer referrals to board-certified surgeons and specialists at Cornell University, Colonial Veterinary Hospital, and the Northeast Veterinary Referral Hospital

We are confident that once you experience our level of quality and care, you won't want to go anywhere else.

POST-SURGERY 

INFORMATION

 

Answers to common questions after your pet returns home following surgery

We want to be sure you have all the information that you need for your pet post-surgery so we've compiled frequently asked questions for your reference. If you cannot find answers to questions you may have, please do not hesitate to contact us.

APPETITE

  • Decreased appetite is very common during illness or after surgery. There are several things you can try:

    • Offer favorite foods or treats

    • Warm the food slightly above room temperature to increase the odor/taste

    • Some pets like low-sodium chicken/beef broth or chicken baby food. These can be fed alone or in addition to regular pet food 

BANDAGE OR SPLINT IS WET, SOILED OR HAS FALLEN OFF

  • If the bandage becomes soiled, damp, chewed, or chewed off, please DO NOT re-bandage at home

    • Duct tape and other items can trap moisture within the cast/bandage, causing inflammation of the skin and tissues

    • Bandages inappropriately applied at home could potentially cut off the circulation to the foot

  • Contact us immediately if you have concerns about your pet's bandage

    • Confine your pet to a single room or similar small area until you can call us and we can advise you on appropriate steps to take

  • After a cast or splint is first removed, it may take 1-2 weeks for your pet to become accustomed to using the leg without the splint

CONSTIPATION, BOWEL MOVEMENTS

  • Difficulty having bowel movements can be expected after illness, anesthesia, or surgery 

    • It may take a few days for the gastrointestinal system to return to normal function

    • It is not vital for your pet to pass stool on a regular daily basis

  • Contact us if your pet has not passed a stool within 72 hours of discharge from the hospital, or appears to be straining to defecate

CRYING/WHINING

  • Although vocalizing can indicate discomfort, it is usually not a sign of pain

    • Instinctively most pets will not vocalize because, in the wild, this would attract predators 

    • Often, pets vocalize due to the excitement or agitation that they feel on leaving the hospital and returning to their familiar home environment

  • If crying or whining is mild and intermittent, you may simply monitor the situation

    • If vocalization persists, please contact us for advice

    • In some cases, a sedative may be prescribed or pain medication may be adjusted.

DIARRHEA

  • Diarrhea may be seen after hospitalization.

    • This can be caused by a change in diet but is more commonly caused by the stress of being away from home

    • Certain medications prescribed to your pet may also cause diarrhea

  • If NO blood is noted in the diarrhea

    • Feed your pet a bland diet for 2-3 days to help the digestive tract return to normal

  • If blood IS present in diarrhea and lasts longer than 12-24 hours OR if your pet becomes lethargic or vomits

 

You can purchase a nutritionally complete bland food from us available in cans or kibble. Alternatively, you may feed cooked/steamed rice mixed with an equal volume of low-sodium chicken broth, boiled chicken or lean hamburger, chicken baby food or cooked turkey.

Feed small meals every 4-6 hours

We do NOT recommend the use of over-the-counter medications to treat diarrhea

 

E-COLLAR

  • We rely on you to keep the E-collar on your pet!

    • While they may not enjoy it initially, they will enjoy having to come back to our office even less

    • Having access to the incision may allow your pet to chew on it, causing it to open - can you say 'emergency'?

  • Most pets become accustomed to the collar within 1 or 2 days

INJURY TO SURGICAL SITE

  • If for any reason you suspect that your pet has reinjured the surgical site

    1. Confine your pet

    2. Contact us immediately for advice.

PAIN

  • Despite the medication(s) we have prescribed, some pets will still show signs of pain at home

    • Restlessness/inability to sleep

    • Poor appetite

    • Lameness or tenderness at site of surgery

  • Please confine your pet to limit their activity

  • Call us immediately

    • We may be able to dispense or prescribe additional medication

    • We may be able to prescribe different therapies

      • Your pet's comfort is important

PANTING

  • Commonly observed after surgery

    • May indicate soreness

    • Often due to anxiety

    • Please contact us and we can help determine whether additional pain medication is advised. We will be happy to recheck your pet for your peace of mind

SEROMA

(FLUID POCKET)

  • In any healing surgical area, fluid produced during the healing process may accumulate and form a seroma.

    • This is not painful

    • Does not impair the healing process

    • Eventually, the body will reabsorb the fluid if the seroma is small enough

      • If the seroma is large

        • We may remove the fluid with a needle and syringe 

        • We may place a drain

  • If you notice a seroma developing, please contact us

    • We may wish to recheck the area to ensure there is no infection 

SHAKING/TREMBLING

  • This is a very common response to physiological stress after surgery, injury, or any other health abnormality

    • The amount of shaking or trembling may be dramatic, but it does not imply severe pain, cold, or distress

    • It may involve the entire body, or just the area of surgery

    • It is most noticeable in the first 5 to 7 days post-operatively, and typically subsides in 1-2 weeks 

  • If there are signs of pain such as restlessness, lack of appetite, or crying out, please contact us

 

URINATION

  • Some pets may urinate less after surgery or may seem to be unable to control urination

    • This is usually temporary and may be a side effect of medication, anesthesia drugs, or difficulty assuming "the position" to urinate

  • Please contact us if your pet has not produced urine for more than 12-24 hours

  • ​​Many pets initially drink less after returning home, so expect less urination at first

 

VOMITING

  • An episode or two of vomiting is occasionally seen after surgery or anesthesia

    • ​​ If the vomiting continues, blood is noted in the vomit, or if your pet is not holding down any food or water, contact us right away

 

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