Questions about surgery and appointments
Q: How old does my cat or dog need to be to be spayed or neutered?
A: Your cat or dog must be at least 12 weeks old and weigh at least 3 pounds in order to undergo surgery at our clinic.
Q: Isn’t 12 weeks too young to neuter a dog or cat?
A: No. Both the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) support pediatric neutering. Veterinarians experienced with early-age spay/neuter insist the surgery is faster and less stressful for the animal than when done at the more conventional age of 6 months. Read more about pediatric spay/neuter here.
Q: Does my pet have to stay overnight after surgery?
A: No. Pets go home the same day. You will be given aftercare instructions and will be provided a phone number you can call should you have any concerns about your pet after the surgery.
Q: Do I need to schedule an appointment or can I just show up on a clinic day?
A: You must schedule an appointment.
Q: My pet is currently on antibiotics. Can he still have surgery?
A: If your pet is currently being treated for an infection, he is not a good candidate for surgery right now. You should finish the course of treatment and have your regular veterinarian recheck your pet to make sure all is well before scheduling surgery. Our clinic is for healthy pets only as we are not a full-service veterinary clinic.
Q: Should I purchase the additional take home pain medication?
A: Additional pain medication can help your pet be more comfortable in the 2-3 days following surgery. We have found that small dogs and older cats and dogs (over 2 years of age, especially females) do benefit from the additional days of pain medication. Certain breeds, such as pit bull terriers, huskys and labs, also tend to benefit from additional pain relief post-op. All pets receive pain medication during surgery, but it will wear off within 12-24 hours after surgery. High energy dogs may also benefit from pain medication, as it may help keep them more quiet. DO NOT GIVE HUMAN MEDICATION TO PETS AS IT MAY BE FATAL!
Q: My pet is already fixed, but needs shots. Can I come to one of your clinics for that?
A: No. Only surgical clients receive vaccinations at our regular spay/neuter clinic days. We occasionally offer special vaccination clinics where other pets can receive vaccines. Watch our schedule or Facebook page for these announcements.
Q: I only have one carrier; can I bring both of my cats in it?
A: Yes, but you must take each cat home in a separate carrier. If you are unable to borrow an additional carrier, you can purchase a cardboard carrier at our clinic for $5.
Q: Does The Fix Is In offer declaw surgery?
A: No. From cat behavioralist Jackson Galaxy and Dr. Jean Hofve:
Claws are a physically, socially, and emotionally vital part of every cat.
Scratching, for a cat, is not only a natural act, but a necessary one as well. Here’s why.
- It removes the dead outer sheaths of nail, keeping it sharp and ready for action.
- It is an essential exercise technique which serves to stretch and strengthen their upper bodies.
- Cats mark their territory visually, especially in multi–cat households, as a way of determining rank.
- Between your cat’s toes are scent glands which leave her “signature” when she scratches.
Scratching is an essential element of cats’ communication, problem-solving, health, and security issues. We’re left then with a re–phrasing of the popular question, “How do I get my cat to stop scratching?” to “How can I get my cat to scratch somewhere else?”
Learn more at these links:
Declaw discussion starts at 3:25
Q: Does The Fix Is In need volunteers?
A: Yes!! Volunteers help staff with admission, writing rabies certificates, washing instruments and wrapping surgical packs. We also use volunteers in our fund raising activities. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please call us at 715-550-SPAY (7729) to get more information.
Questions after surgery
Q: My pet had surgery today and won’t eat! What should I do?
A: It is common for some animals not have an appetite the same day as surgery. Offer a small amount of food and water, about a quarter of the normal amount, and leave it available. Animals will usually eat within 12-24 hours post-op. If your pet still doesn’t eat after 24 hours you may offer a small amount of boiled rice, boiled chicken with fat skimmed off, small amount of plain yogurt. If your pet is still not eating after 32 hours please call our post-op line or your regular veterinarian.
- Do not force feed, syringe feed or offer fatty treats as this may cause vomiting or choking. Force feeding may also cause your pet to struggle which can cause injuries to you or your pet.
Q: Can I give my dog his/her medications at the same time? Do I have to give it with food?
A: On the day of the surgery your dog will be given an injection of Rimadyl and will not require an oral dose until the next morning. The morning after the surgery the Rimadyl and Tramadol should be given at the same time with food. Please follow the label directions.
- The evening of the surgery your dog may be given the Tramadol according to the label even with an empty stomach. Please try to give it about 12 hours from when you will give the morning dose.
- Please note that dogs less than 5 pounds will not be prescribed Rimadyl. These animals will go home only with Tramadol.
- All medications should be administered according to the label and only to the animal to which it was prescribed.
Q: How do I restrict my pet’s activity after surgery and for how long?
A: Activity restriction for 10-14 days is a very important factor in reducing complications such as hernia, swelling, internal bleeding and other injuries.
- It is best to keep your pet in a kennel or small room such as a bathroom whenever he/she is not being supervised. For example if you are sleeping, working or unable to monitor your pet he/she should be in the kennel or small room. This will, in most cases, prevent your pet from being overactive and causing injury. Cats may also be kept in a dog kennel. Be sure the kennel is large enough to allow for room that prevents him/her from sleeping in the litter box as well as allowing room for food, water, and sleeping area.
- Use an E-collar (alone cone or cone of shame) – many animals will not want to move around very much when wearing the E-collar
- Use a leash – dogs should be on a leash when going outside even if they have a fenced in yard. The leash will give you more control over speed and activity when outside or using the stairs.
- Monitor activities with other animals and young children and do not allow unsupervised play time with 14 days.
Q: How long should I keep the E-collar on?
A: 14 days for male dogs and all female patients, 10 days for male cats
Q: I had more than one pet fixed, how do I keep track of their incisions?
A: It is important to check the incisions twice a day (every 12 hours) to monitor the healing process and watch for signs of problems as listed on your post-op instruction sheet page 1. It can be helpful to take a picture of the surgical site each evening with your cell phone or digital camera. This not only helps you to remember what each patient looks like from day to day, but can also be a helpful resource for our veterinary technician on the post-op line to help visualize any questions you may have should you need to call.
Q: What should I do at home to care for the incision?
A: Keep the incision clean and dry. If your pet gets wet, pat the area dry with a clean towel. If your pet gets dirty use a mild soap such as Dawn to clean the area and then pat it dry. (One cup warm water with 2-3 small drops of detergent) Do not saturate the area, dry thoroughly. Pat clean and dry, do not rub or use great force.
- DO NOT use any type of lotions, creams or medications that have not been made for your animal. Many people medications can cause illness or even death including peroxide, Neosporin, essential oils, aspirin, baby aspirin and Tylenol.
- Prevent licking/chewing by using an E-collar, Kong collar or vigilant monitoring.
Q: My pet had surgery about a week ago and now it appears that his/her skin is peeling around the incision. Should I be concerned or apply cream?
A: All incisions (except in routine male cat neuters) are secured with a thin application of tissue adhesive. When this begins to let loose it may appear that the skin itself is flaking off. This is within normal expectations of the healing process and requires no treatment. *If the affected area is warm/hot to the touch or “oozing” please see your regular veterinarian to rule out infection.
Q: My cat was treated with Revolution for ear mites or fleas, when should I retreat?
A: Revolution is a parasitic application that is applied topically (on the skin) once a month. Due to the risk of overdose your pet should not be treated with any other parasite medication for one month from the date of surgery. This includes all flea treatments including flea collars and flea baths, all ear mite treatments, all tick treatments, all de-wormers. If you feel that your pet is not improving or is getting worse please see your regular veterinarian before using any other products or to get a refill of the Revolution.