Your pet must weigh at least three pounds, and be at least three months old, to be spayed or neutered at ATA.
The clinic opens at 7:30 a.m. and all pets must arrive by 8:30 a.m. This is not just a drop-off, plan to be there approximately 30 minutes to meet with a veterinary technician. If you are not at the clinic before 8:30 a.m., your appointment will be forfeited.
Give your pet no food after 10:00 p.m. the night before surgery. A small amount of water is permissible. Your pet’s stomach must be empty; if it vomits during or shortly after anesthesia, it could choke or develop pneumonia.
No flea or tick dips, sprays, or flea shampoos for a week before surgery. If you’ve used any the week of your appointment, bathe the animal in a mild baby shampoo the night before to remove the residue and make sure your pet is completely dry before arriving at the clinic. Frontline, Advantage, or flea collars are okay.
Dogs must come into our clinic on a leash or harness. Dogs will not be allowed to go home in the back of a pickup truck unless they are in a secured kennel.
Cats must arrive and go home in a secure cat carrier. If you are bringing more than one cat, each cat must have its own carrier. We sell cardboard carriers for $5.00 if you do not have a carrier. Always put a clean towel in the carrier so we can make your cat comfortable for the ride home.
All male dogs will go home with an e-collar at an additional charge. If you decline this collar, a waiver must be signed agreeing that any post-operative complications as a result of licking will be paid at your expense. We strongly recommend the purchase of an e-collar for your female animal as well.
If your pet is current on its rabies vaccination, we must see the current rabies certificate. Bring it with you the morning of surgery, or it can be faxed to us at (512) 450-0177. If we don’t receive the rabies certificate by 10 am, we will vaccinate at your expense. The metal tag or receipt is not acceptable as proof.
Most surgical patients can be discharged between 3pm and 6pm the day of the surgery. If for any reason the pick-up time is changed, you will be informed at check-in.
If you have serious concerns when ATA is closed, contact one of our veterinary technicians at (512) 773-5704.
If you feel you have a life-threatening emergency and are unable to reach our technician, please go to your nearest emergency clinic.
Your pet has just undergone general anesthesia and surgical sterilization. For the safety and comfort of your animal, we suggest that you carefully follow these post-operative instructions.
Upon Arriving Home
As when any anesthesia is used, stomach upset can occur. To help avoid this, we recommend that you restrict the amount of food to which your pet has access on the evening after surgery. Don’t offer any food or water for 2 hours after you return home. After that time offer a small amount of water. If no stomach upset occurs, an hour later offer a small amount of his/her regular food and more water. If your pet does vomit, withhold food and water until morning and begin to slowly reintroduce food/water at that time. If vomiting persists, please call us.
The Recovery Period
Restrict your pet’s activity for the next week. Female animals require more time to heal than males do, so keep females indoors for 5-7 days, and males for 3-5 days if possible. During their entire recovery period, it is important that they stay clean, quiet, and protected from extreme temperatures. Restrict running, jumping, or playing during this time. Don’t bathe your pet or let them go swimming for the next week, as this can introduce infection into the incision.
Check the incision site at least twice a day until healed. Your pet has undergone major surgery, and a small amount of redness, bruising, or swelling is normal at first. These signs should resolve within a few days. Contact us if you find:
- The incision is opening, or blood is dripping from the incision
- Any sign of infection (the incision appears swollen or inflamed)
- Excessive swelling of the scrotum on male animals
Surgical sutures will dissolve within 30 days and should not need to be removed. Occasionally skin staples are used, and you will be instructed when to return to ATA to have them removed.
- The incision on male cats is not sutured and you may notice a small opening on either side of the scrotum. This is normal.
Male dogs are very prone to licking their surgical area, and this can open their incision or cause infection. Owners of male dogs will be sent home from surgery with a plastic e-collar to prevent licking. This e-collar must be kept on for a full 7 days. Removing it earlier than that can lead to bleeding, infection, and additional costs for you.
Your pet has been provided with pain medication. Dogs will leave the clinic with an oral medication that you will administer over the next three days. Cats have been given an injection of a long-lasting pain medication before being discharged from surgery. Do not give aspirin, ibuprofen, Tylenol, or any other human medication. These drugs can be deadly to your pet. Contact us if you feel your pet is experiencing excessive pain.
Interaction with Other Animals
- Males may still have sperm for as long as 30 days after surgery. Be aware that they can impregnate females during that time.
- If your female dog or cat was in heat at the time of surgery, you must keep them away from un-neutered males for at least two weeks to prevent accidental mating, which could cause very serious injury or death to your pet.
Questions or Concerns
If you have a question or concern about your pet after surgery, please do the following:
- Contact our Surgical Clinic at 450-0111 on Monday through Saturday between the hours of 9am and 5pm.
- If you have post-operative concerns when ATA is closed that you feel cannot wait until regular hours, you may call our after-hours number 773-5704 and the person on call will advise you.
If you feel your pet has a life-threatening emergency and you are unable to reach us,please go to your nearest emergency clinic.