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Pet Surgery in San Jose


When your pet needs surgery, you will have many questions, such as:

Why? What are the risks? What will it cost? What do I have to do before and after surgery?

There are many reasons why your pet may need surgery. It could be for something routine such as spaying or neutering your pet. It might be to have its teeth cleaned. Your pet may have to have something removed from its GI tract that it ate, or a mass removed.

So it could be routine or very serious, even life threatening.

You will want to feel as comfortable with the decision for your pet to have surgery as you can by asking questions. For routine procedures, our veterinarians are extremely well qualified to perform the surgery. For less routine procedures, your San Jose veterinarian may recommend having a specialist do the surgery, someone who has the extra training and experience doing the surgery your pet needs.

There are risks with every surgical procedure. They include drug reactions, infections, reactions to the anesthesia, reactions to suture material, inhalation pneumonia, stroke/emboli, even death, to name a few. But the real question is how risky is it compared to the benefit and how risky is it compared to other things we do every day. I was told by a client when her child needed surgery that the child was at more risk driving to the appointment than the child would be undergoing anesthesia and surgery. We can explain the risk versus benefit as best as we can when we discuss the options with you about your pet’s particular surgery. Realize that all we can talk about is potential risk, and not any guarantees.

Costs will depend on the procedure being done, also how long it might take, and whether any additional tests need to be done before or after surgery, among other things. Sometimes there are complications or unforeseen events that happen. This means that the cost may be more than what was estimated prior to surgery. We try to give you as accurate an estimate as possible, based on what we are aware of at the time the estimate is given.

We will give your instructions on what to do before and after surgery. You will receive specific instructions based on what procedure your pet will undergo. But in general, your pet should be fasted for at least 12 hours prior to anesthesia, and no water about 4-6 hours prior. Your pet may need to have some tests done prior to surgery, such as blood work, x-rays, or ultrasound. If your pet is taking any medications, be sure to ask whether to give those medications and when. After surgery, you will be given instructions regarding feeding, activity restrictions, medications to give (if any), and any rechecks or suture removal.

During general anesthesia, your pet will be attached to an anesthetic machine that feeds accurate, metered amounts of a gas anesthetic and oxygen. The gas anesthetic is metered into the air your pet breaths using a “precision vaporizer”. Your pet will be breathing between 95-100% oxygen. Room air is only about 22% oxygen, so your pet will be well oxygenated! Your pet will have various monitors placed to monitor core body temperature, respiratory and heart rates, blood oxygen saturation level, ECG (electrocardiograph) tracings, and indirect blood pressure reading. This is all very similar to what you would have if you were to be anesthetized. We have an assistant monitoring these functions while the surgeon is doing his or her surgery. The pet will also be on a heating pad to help maintain normal body temperature. We can even warm up the IV fluids that most pets receive during general anesthesia through an IV catheter that we place into one of your pet’s veins.

We are also very concerned about pain control. The amount of pain your pet will experience will vary with the procedure. We will individualize the pain control protocol for your pet. We generally will include pain control as part of the pre-anesthetic cocktail we give most pets prior to the actual anesthesia. Then we can use local blocks during the procedure, if indicated. We can also give additional pain control medication during and immediately after the procedure, if indicated. After surgery, it is very common for pain medication to be sent home for varying lengths of time, depending on the procedure done. As with humans, pets will heal faster and with fewer complications if they are in less pain.

This covers the basics surrounding your pet’s surgery. You will probably have other questions regarding your pet’s specific situation- be sure to make a list, if possible, and ask them. Our team of veterinarians in San Jose, CA will do our best to make you feel as comfortable as possible.

Contact us at (408) 293-3448 for more information regarding pet surgery.

New clients are always welcome!

Please call for an appointment, fill out the form and bring the completed form with you to your 1st appointment.

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