Pre- & Post-Operative Instructions

Pre-Operative Instructions:

Spay and neuter appointments are scheduled Tuesday-Friday.  All animals should arrive at the clinic between 7:30 am – 8:00 am on the morning of their appointment.  Please leave all animals in the car while completing the check-in process.

If your pet is over four months of age, please withhold all food after midnight on the day before his/her appointment.  All pets four months of  age and younger are permitted to have food up until 6:00 am on the day of their scheduled appointment.  All pets are permitted to have water.

Please make sure your pet stays indoors the night prior to his/her appointment.  Dogs may go out for supervised bathroom breaks only.

All cats must come in secure carriers or humane traps.  All dogs must be brought in on a leash.

Post-Operative Instructions:

The First Night:

  • Food and water:  Start with a very small (1/8 cup) meal of your pet’s regular food.  Offer a small (1/4 cup) amount of water or ice cubes.  If this stays down for an hour, then offer another small meal and drink.  Do not allow your pet to “guzzle” unlimited water or food – this often leads to stomach upset.  Likewise, no strange foods or treats should be given the first night after surgery.  If your pet has no interest in food or water the first night after surgery, this is not a cause for concern.  If he or she does not eat the day following surgery, please contact us.
  • Animals may be groggy for the first night home and not themselves – even the most tolerant and sweet animals can be cranky after anesthesia and surgery.  Please allow your pet to rest quietly, and be careful with other pets and small children.  It is best to confine cats to a small, dark room (ie bathroom, bedroom, etc) for the night with a small amount of food, water, and a litterbox.  By morning, most anesthetic effects will have worn off, and the cat can be allowed to roam the house as usual.
  • Look at your pet’s incision – It is important to monitor your pet’s incision closely – check it at least once a day for the next 2 weeks.  Mild swelling, bruising, and even a little pinkish discharge can all be normal for the first 24 hours.  After that, the incision should look nothing but better from there.  Any redness, discharge, or discomfort is cause for concern and you need to contact us.  We will recheck any incision at no charge.  It is better to be over cautious than to wait too long.

Things to Keep in Mind for the Next 14 Days:

  • Do not let your pet lick the incision.  If you see your pet licking the incision, it is VITAL that you purchase an e-collar (a cone collar) and put it on your pet immediately.  Allowing an animal to lick its incision can lead to many problems from infection to opening of the incision line.  E-collars can be purchased at One of a Kind or at any pet store, but make sure to take your pet with you to be fitted properly.
  • Dogs should be leash walked only (no running loose or rough housing) for one full week after surgery.  Female cats should be kept indoors if at all possible for one week.  Excess activity can lead to swelling at the incision or tearing of the sutures and opening of the incision.
  • No baths or swimming for one week after surgery.  There is no need to clean the incision with anything, and do not apply any ointments, bandages, or medications.
  • If any of the above instructions are not followed, complications could arise.  This is considered self trauma and One of a Kind will not cover the cost of these complications.
  • Your pet can gradually return to normal activity 14 days after the spay or neuter procedure.

Common Post-Op Questions and Complications:

  • Vomiting is the most common post-anesthesia complication.  Vomiting once or twice the night after surgery is very normal.  However, if your pet vomits several times, or if the vomiting persists into the next day, you need to contact us.  We can give medication to help stop the nausea.  Your pet could be at risk for dehydration and severe illness if he or she is not seen quickly.
  • Shaking or trembling for the first night home can be a normal side effect of the anesthesia wearing off.  It should resolve completely within 24 hours.
  • If pain medication is sent home, it is to be started tomorrow.  All animals receive pain medication during surgery that will last the first 24 hours.  Neither Metacam nor Carpofen have any sedative effects, so they will not make an animal “loopy.”  Tramadol can cause mild sedation.  If your pet is vomiting, no pain medications should be given (they can be irritating to the stomach) and you need to contact us.
  • A small, firm, knuckle-sized swelling at the incision can be a normal reaction as the suture knot under the skin dissolves.  It should be completely gone within a month of surgery.
  • Your pet should be acting 100% back to his or her normal self 48 hours from surgery.
  • If you have a question or concern that is not an emergency, please contact the clinic during normal operating hours (Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm) at 330.865.6890.
  • If you have an urgent concern outside of business hours, please feel free to contact us via the emergency line listed on the pink post-operation sheet given to you upon check-out.  The emergency phone hours are Monday – Sunday, 7:00 am – 9:00 pm (except holidays).  If you are sent to voice mail, leave a message and you will be called back by one of our surgery technicians during those hours.
  • If your pet requires emergency care that does not fall within One of a Kind’s emergency phone hours listed above, please call or visit your regular veterinarian or local emergency vet clinic.  Each client is responsible for paying the cost of this visit.  One of a Kind’s Medical Director will review the report and discuss it with the emergency veterinarian to determine if it is a spay/neuter related issue.  However, One of a Kind makes the final decision on what will be covered.  If One of a Kind determines that it is a spay/neuter surgery related issue, we will reimburse our client the cost of the visit.
  • Please note, there are many cases when underlying health issues are present in your pet and emerge after spay/neuter surgery.  However, they are not a result of the spay/neuter and therefore the cost will not be covered by One of a Kind.