Grove City Veterinary Hospital

4350 Grove City Rd.
Grove City, OH 43123


Surgical FAQ's

We perform all sorts of routine, soft tissue surgeries in our surgery suite.  Ovariohysterectomies (spays), castrations (neuters), feline declaws, mass removals and dental surgery are among the most common procedures we perform.  We also will occasionally perform ocular or bladder surgeries as well.  We will refer all of our needed orthopedic surgeries to MedVet in Worthington, OH as well as some of our more critical surgery cases for continued, overnight care. 

What You Need to Know Before Your Pet's Upcoming Surgery

Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's surgery, and we hope this information will help.  It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet's upcoming surgery.

Is the anesthetic safe?

We take special pride in the safety of our anesthetic procedures.  We will personalize your pet's anesthetic protocol depending on the age, health status, and procedure.  Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past.  Here at Grove City Veterinary Hospital, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that a fever or other illness won't be a problem.  We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet. 

Preanesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia.  We strongly recommend pre-anesthetic blood testing in all pets undergoing an anesthetic procedure.  In older pets, we may even require the blood testing.  Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing.  If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications.  For animals with minor problems, we may make minor changes to our anesthetic protocols or recommend monitoring of bloodwork.  If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected. 

Most patients will get a CBC/profile test for pre-anesthetic screening.  For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well.

Your pet will be monitored from the time they are sedated until they are awake and ready to walk out of here.  During the anesthesia, your pet will have an assigned technician whose only job is to check their vital signs and be able to react to any changes in your pet's status.  Your pet may receive additional medications if needed during anesthesia.  Your pet's comfort and wellbeing are our #1 priority, so we do not cut any corners on your pet's health.  

How do I need to prepare for the surgery?

It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia.  The evening prior to your pet's procedure, we ask that your pet not have anything to eat after its normal evening meal or approximately 12 midnight. Please allow your pet to have access to water all night, if needed.  Your pet will be admitted to our hospital between 8-8:30 am the day of the procedure.  After your pet has arrived, we may get the pre-anesthetic blood work or radiographs if they have not been done so previously. Then, depending on the results, your pet will receive a pre-anesthetic injection to help it relax. When we are ready for the procedure, we will induce anesthesia via an IV catheter or in your pet's muscle, depending on your pet's health and the nature of the procedure. Then a tube will be passed into your pet's airway and your pet will be connected to an anesthetic machine which will deliver 100% oxygen and also anesthetic gases, which can be adjusted to lighten or deepen the level of anesthesia.  Your pet will have an IV catheter placed in order to administer fluids and/or medications.  

Will my pet have stitches?

Most of our surgical patients will go home with skin sutures which will need to be removed approximately 2 weeks after the procedure.  On occasion, we will also place buried, absorbable sutures under the skin.  With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge.  Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for.  You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for a short time and no baths are allowed until the sutures are removed.

Will my pet be in pain?

We also want to make sure that your pet is comfortable and free from pain during and after the procedure. Unfortunately, after the anesthesia wears off, your pet's pain will no longer be controlled.

All patients undergoing a surgical procedure will be given a pre-operative pain injection.  A post operative pain injection is also given.  Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals.  Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don't whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it.  Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed.  Major procedures require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations.

For dogs, we may recommend an oral anti-inflammatory the day after surgery and several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling. 

Because cats do not tolerate standard pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol, we are limited in what we can give them.  Recent advances in pain medications have allowed for better pain control in cats than ever before.  We have newer pain medications for cats that last for 2-3 days per injection.  This means you won't have to give anything to your cat once you get him home after surgery!  However, any animal that appears painful will receive additional pain medication as needed.  

Providing whatever pain relief is appropriate is a humane and caring thing to do for your pet.

What other decisions do I need to make?

While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as dentistry, ear cleaning, nail trims or implanting an identification microchip.  If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time.  This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for surgery is not the primary decision maker for the pet's care.

When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need to 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other options available.  When you pick up your pet after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet's home care needs.

We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery appointment, to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have.  In the meantime, please don't hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet's health or surgery.