Medical Questions

Why do I have to withhold food from my pet who is 6 months or older before surgery?

It is safest for your animal and less messy for you if your pet's stomach is empty prior to surgery. Food in the stomach during surgery may be vomited up while the animal is under anesthesia. An unconscious animal can breathe this material into its lungs, causing a potentially fatal pneumonia. Also, improperly fasted animals have a much higher likelihood of vomiting after you get them home.

How long will it take my pet to recover?op1

It depends upon the length of your pet's surgery and their individual metabolism. C-SNIP recommends a minimum of 7 days. Most pets are awake, but disoriented, within 30 minutes following surgery. The disorientation typically subsides before the pet is sent home, though sedation from the pain medication may last for up to 36 hours. Healing of the tissues is in "high-gear" for the next 10 to 14 days. Good nutrition, warmth and rest are especially important at this time. Excessive activity such as running and jumping will stress the sutures and could cause the incision to re-open.

How soon can I feed and water my pet after surgery?

Most animals are very excited to be back at home and may eat or drink excessively, causing them to vomit what they just ingested. Pets sent home the same day should not be allowed to eat or drink for at least one hour to allow them to settle down which decreases the chance of vomiting. At this time only feed them small amounts throughout the evening until bedtime. Eating habits should return to normal the next day. Pets sent home the next day after surgery may resume normal eating, but may not be hungry for the next day or so. In some cases your pet might not want to eat or drink until the next day.

Will I need to have the stitches removed?

All stitches dissolve internally, unless you are notified otherwise. No further check-up is necessary.

Will I need to give my pet pain medication?

Pain medication is administered by the veterinarian at the clinic immediately following surgery and will last for 24 hours. Rarely do pets need additional pain medication.

Will there be any swelling at the incision site after surgery?

A small amount of swelling is normal as the implanted suture material dissolves. Some animals may react more than others to the suture and develop a firm lump or lumps near the incision, which goes away over time, sometimes up to six weeks.

Will the incision bleed after surgery?

A small amount of blood seepage from skin blood vessels is normal.

Should I bandage or put an antibiotic on the incision?

Please don't. An animal's first instinct is to lick or chew off anything that is put on them. It is best not to draw additional attention to the incision.

My printed aftercare instructions say to watch for listlessness. What does that mean?

It is normal for your pet to be quieter and have a smaller appetite for a few days after surgery. Not wanting to move around at all and not wanting to eat anything should be reported to the emergency technician.

Does C-SNIP sterilize pregnant dogs and cats?

Yes, but there is a slight, added risk with the procedure. All animals that have obvious enlargement of the abdomen or mammary glands which can interfere with the surgery with some excessive bleeding.

Can you spay a dog while she is in heat?

It's possible to spay a dog in heat, but because of the increase in blood loss and probable longer recovery time, we prefer to wait until she is out of heat. This usually takes 2-3 weeks.

Do you spay cats that are in heat?

Yes. There is a high risk that she will become pregnant if we wait until she is out of heat.

How often do dogs and cats come into heat and how long does it last?

Most dogs experience a heat cycle every 6 months. The cycle lasts about 3 weeks. Cats experience the heat cycle an average of 3 times a year, although it can occur more frequently, particularly in the spring and summer. The cycle lasts 3 weeks. If cats are bred, they are almost assured of becoming pregnant.

Does C-SNIP give vaccinations or declaw cats?

At the time of surgery, C-SNIP offers a number of Additional Services. Declawing is not one of them. Once monthly, C-SNIP also hosts a low income verified wellness clinic for dogs and cats, our Vaccination Station.

Will my cat stop spraying urine after being sterilized?

The longer the spraying behavior goes on, the less likely that sterilization alone will completely stop it. Additional behavior training and medications are sometimes necessary. However, eliminating the sex hormones through sterilization is the first step to eliminating undesirable behavior.

Will my pet calm down after being sterilized?

Spaying and neutering eliminates the drive to find a mate, which helps make your pet more trainable and relaxed. However, training is always an essential part of addressing behavior issues.