5071 US Hwy 1, Vass, NC 28394

5071 US Hwy 1, Vass NC 28394

Surgery Information

Preparing for Surgery

In the weeks and days leading up to your pet’s surgery, and then on the morning of, make sure your dog or cat has the least amount of stress! Here is everything you need to know about preparing your pet for surgery at the Sandhills Spay Neuter Veterinary Clinic (SNVC). 

We recommend getting established with a full service Veterinarian in the area and have them check your pet to make sure they are healthy enough for surgery,

Make sure your pet receives vaccinations at least one week prior to surgery to help protect your pet from contagious disease such as Bordetella (Kennel Cough) or Parvovirus. We recommend at a minimum, Cats receive their distemper combo (FVRCP) vaccine and Dogs receive the distemper/parvo combo (DAPPV) and their Bordetella (Kennel Cough). We do offer those vaccines at the time of surgery as well.

Ask your vet about pre-operative bloodwork, starting on heartworm prevention and flea/tick control. We do not offer pre-operative bloodwork. We do offer heartworm testing, heartworm prevention (with negative test), and flea/tick prevention at the time of your Pets surgery appointment.

It is never too early to start training and socialization. Ask your regular veterinarian for suggestions of safe ways to get your pet used to people.  A well socialized dog or cat will be less stressed when coming into the clinic and this helps speed healing.

Make sure your pet is not showing any signs of illness. IF YOUR PET IS VOMITING, HAVING DIARRHEA OR COUGHING THEY SHOULD NOT BE BROUGHT IN TO THE SANDHILLS SPAY NEUTER VETERINARY CLINIC (SNVC) FOR SURGERY.  We recommend you get them checked out by your regular veterinarian first.  Depending on the issue you may need to wait from when they recover to when you can schedule your appointment, please make sure to let us know when calling if they have had any symptoms of illness.

It is a good idea to bathe your pet before surgery as they can’t be bathed for 14 days afterwards.

Day of Surgery: Check-In and Discharge Procedures


Check-in on the date of your pet’s surgery takes place between 7:00am-7:30am for dogs and 7:30-8:00am for cats. Please plan on spending 30 minutes at Sandhills SNVC for patient check-in. Please be aware that after 8:00am, there is a late fee charge of $25.00 and we may not be able to accept your animal for surgery.

It is important to leave your pet in your car when you come in to fill out the intake paperwork and make your payment.  Due to the large volume of people filling out paperwork it is more stressful on both you and your pet to have them in the lobby while filling out paperwork. Owners tend to be distracted while filling out paperwork and dogs are more likely to get into fights or attempt to attack cats that are in the lobby.

Leashes and Carriers

All cats brought to the Sandhills Spay Neuter Veterinary Clinic (SNVC) must be in a secure carrier, and dogs must be on a leash or in a carrier. Do not let your dog out of your vehicle without a proper, secure leash. Make sure that your cat carrier is secure at the top and bottom, and all zippers are zipped all the way. We ask that your carrier be lined with a throw-away towel or newspaper in the bottom, in case of any accidents on your way to the clinic or while awaiting their exam.

If you are bringing in multiple cats, please be aware that each cat must be brought in their own carrier. If your cat is not in a carrier or you have two cats in one carrier, you will be required to purchase a cardboard carrier at the time of check-in ($10.00). Please do not take your cat out of his or her carrier while waiting in the lobby as it can be very dangerous.  Each cat must go home in their own carrier.  We will not put two cats in the same carrier after surgery.

Feral, wild or outdoor cats are required to come in a humane wire trap to minimize the stress to the cat and potential risk of injury to staff.  If they are not in a trap when brought to the clinic, you will need to reschedule your appointment.  If you are not able to handle the cat on a regular basis at home, it is unlikely we will be able to handle the cat when it is stressed here at the clinic.  Traps allow us to weigh and pre-medicate the cat without restraining or stressing the cat further.


Payment is required at morning check-in. We accept Cash, Visa, Discover, Mastercard, and American Express. We DO NOT accept personal checks or care credit. 

Rabies Vaccination

North Carolina state law requires a current rabies vaccination for your pet. Please bring proof in the form of a certificate at drop off (tags are not acceptable forms of proof). We are otherwise required to administer one at the time of surgery for a charge of $10.00

Additional Services and Fees

Reducible Umbilical Hernias may be repaired at the time of surgery for an additional fee. Please let us know when scheduling and at drop off if your pet has an umbilical hernia.  If we are not made aware or if it is not reducible it may not be repaired.

Microchips can be administered at the time of surgery for a fee of $25.00  Microchips are helpful in providing a permanent identification


Patient discharge is normally 3:30pm for dogs and 4:30pm for cats.  We close at 5pm and all pets need to be picked up prior to 5:00pm. If your discharge time will be earlier than the times listed, our staff will inform you at the time of your check in or will call you. 

Food and Water

For cats, your pet should not eat after midnight the night before surgery. If your dog is five pounds or more, please withhold any feeding after midnight the evening before surgery. Water is permitted up until the time of surgery.

Keep Your Pet Indoors

Please keep your pets inside or confined the night before surgery.  This is important to ensure that they are not eating outside, which would make surgery much higher risk.  Keeping them inside also ensures that you will be able to find your pet the morning of surgery.  This is important since you would lose your deposit if you are not able to show up for your scheduled appointment. For those trapping feral cats, we recommend starting to try to trap cats 48-72 hours prior to the morning of the appointment if you are concerned about catching them.

Female Cats and Dogs in Heat or Pregnancy

We will spay female cats and dogs that are pregnant or in heat. Pregnant patients will have additional fees associated with their surgery. Our canine pregnancy fee is $60.00 additional and our feline pregnancy fee is $20.00 additional. We may also require you to sign a high-risk waiver. If your female pet is in heat or pregnant, please let us know when scheduling and at drop off if you are aware.

Male Cats and Dogs

Please check that of your pet’s testicles have descended. There is an increased fee for neutering “cryptorchid” cats and dogs, in which one or both testicles have not descended. It is likely we will not perform surgery if your pet is under 1 year and a cryptorchid.  We recommend waiting until they are a year old to allow time for the testicle(s) to descend and enlarge.

What to Expect After Surgery

Please read and follow the post-operative instructions to lessen your pet’s risk of injury or infection. Your pet’s care after surgery is extremely important.  Click here for the full Discharge Instructions.


Following surgery, keep your pet indoors in a warm, quiet room for 24 to 36 hours. Activity must be minimal for ten days after surgery, as running, jumping and wrestling with other pets or children can cause damage to the incision. We recommend keeping your pet away from other animals to discourage playing or grooming which would irritate the incision.  It is especially important to keep puppies or kittens away from females.  Dogs should be walked on a leash and cats kept strictly indoors.


Pets may experience some discomfort or soreness for 24 to 36 hours following surgery. Cats receive a post-operative pain injection that lasts 72 hours and will not be sent home with pain medications.  Dogs will go home with an anti-inflammatory and pain medication from the Sandhills Spay Neuter Veterinary Clinic (SNVC). Please follow the instructions given to you by the veterinarian on the packaging of the medication. The medication may start the night of surgery or may start the next day, this depends on the size of your dog.  If you have any questions, please call the clinic immediately at (910) 725-8188

Urinating and Defecating

Your pet should still be urinating even if it is not eating. It is important to verify that your dog or cat is urinating. If you have more than one cat, you must watch the litter box to assure your cat is urinating. Anesthesia may cause diarrhea or constipation for a day or two, but if your pet does not defecate normally within two days, please contact us.


Check your pet’s incision twice daily for swelling, bleeding, discharge, or wound opening. Some of these symptoms are expected and are not cause for alarm, but if it seems excessive, please call the clinic for a recheck at (910) 725-8188 or email us at info@spayurpet.org. Recheck exams are complimentary up to three (3) days after surgery. If your pet needs to be seen after the first three (3) days, there is a $25.00 exam fee applied to your recheck. Keep your pet clean and dry for ten days after surgery. Do not wash the incision, as this may introduce infection. Bathing your pet is prohibited for at least 14 days after surgery.  Never apply any topical ointments, creams or bandages over the incision as they may cause the sutures to absorb prematurely, causing the incision to open.  Band-Aids and bandages cause significant irritation to your pets skin and can lead to infection and serious complications.


Check your pet’s gum color when you arrive home after the surgery. The gum color should be pink, and quickly return to that color after you press on the gum above the large canine tooth with your finger. Repeat this check throughout the evening after surgery. If your pet’s gums become pale and do not return to pink color during your check, please call the clinic at (910) 725-8188 or Small Animal Emergency Services at (910) 246-0405.


Your pet has buried absorbable stitches, also known as sutures, under their outer layer of skin. There is no need to return for suture removal for most pets.  Some pets receive staples in their skin, normally due to the incision being larger than normal or if they were pregnant.  If your pet has staples, they will need to be removed here in 10-14 days after surgery. Please call ahead to schedule your pets staple removal.


Discourage your pet from licking or biting at the incision line. Male dogs especially are notorious for this.  All dogs and female cats go home with an Elizabethan collar to prevent damage to the incision. The collar should stay on the pet for 7-10 days.  No animals, cats or dogs, should be let outside off leash with an Elizabethan collar on due to risk of strangulation. If the Elizabethan collar is not used or instructions not followed, fixing the damage a pet does to the incision will be done at the owner’s expense.


Male cats and dogs remain fertile for 3-4 weeks after surgery and can still impregnate females. Please keep them confined.  If female are in heat or coming into heat at time of surgery they may still show signs of being in heat for the next several weeks.  This includes attracting males.  We strongly recommend keeping your pets away from other animals after surgery to allow them time to heal.  Puppies and kittens should be kept away from females as well to make sure they are not interfering with the healing.

When to be Concerned and Call a Veterinarian

If you feel that your pet is not healing appropriately or notice any of the signs listed below, your pet may be having a postsurgical complication. Please contact us as soon as possible at (910) 725-8188. We are open Monday – Thursday and see rechecks at 9am and 3pm on those days. If needed, you may be asked to drop your Pet off for their recheck exam. If it is after hours, Monday-Thursday, you may email us at info@spayurpet.org  If you are not able to reach us, do not receive a call back, or you feel your pets life is at risk call the Vass Small Animal Emergency Clinic at (910) 246-0405 or your regular veterinarian immediately.

  • Depressed attitude
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Pale gums
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Decreased appetite for more than 24 hours after surgery
  • Lethargy for more than 24 hours after surgery
  • Excessive heat, swelling, redness, pain or discharge