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 (DA2LPPV) and their Bordetella (Kennel Cough).
Ask your vet about pre-operative bloodwork, starting on heartworm prevention and flea/tick control
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.
Check-in on the date of your pet’s surgery takes place between 7:00-7:30 a.m for dogs and 7:30-8:00 a.m 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.
All cats brought to the Sandhills Spay Neuter Veterinary Clinic (SNVC) must be in a carrier, and dogs must be on a leash or in a carrier. 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 your cat is not in a carrier, you will be required to purchase a cardboard carrier. Remember, we are checking in 50-plus other animals. Please do not take your cat or dog 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, so if you only have one you will be required to purchase a second carrier for $10.00.
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, and Mastercard.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
We will spay female cats and dogs that are pregnant or in heat, but we may 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.
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.
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
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.