Surgical Care

When your pet needs surgery, our surgical team takes steps to minimize stress, pain and anesthetic risks while maximizing surgical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

The following pet care services are covered in this section. Click any title to jump to that service:

Surgical Procedures at Family VetCare

Family VetCare is committed to meeting and exceeding the highest standards of surgical techniques, safety and equipment. We are proud to offer expertly trained medical teams that deliver compassionate care with state-of-the-art equipment. We provide a full range of surgical services, ranging from standard spaying and neutering to advanced, highly specialized soft tissue and orthopedic procedures.

Here’s what to expect if your veterinarian decides that your pet is a candidate for surgery:

Laboratory Testing

Your veterinarian will perform a pre-anesthetic blood test to determine your pet’s overall health status and minimize anesthetic and surgical risks. The pre-anesthetic blood panel includes a complete blood count (CBC), testing to determine liver and kidney health, various electrolytes and even the ability to determine your pet’s blood-clotting abilities. The results of these tests will help your veterinarian risk assess your pet prior to anesthesia and surgery.

Pre-Surgical Examination

Upon your pet’s admission to the hospital on the day of surgery, your veterinarian will perform a complete pre-surgical physical examination to ensure that your pet is still in good health. We will discuss all matters related to the surgical procedure, medications, risks, complications, healing expectations, and home care. We encourage you to ask your veterinarian additional questions at this time and discuss any concerns you may have regarding your pet.

Pre-Anesthetic Medication

Pre-anesthetic agents are administered prior to surgery to offer your pet pre-operative pain control and sedation. This provides a low-stress, relaxing environment for your pet and peace of mind for you.

IV Catheter & Anesthesia

In preparation for surgery, an IV catheter will be set in a peripheral blood vessel. The IV catheter allows for the administration of medications and fluids. To induce anesthesia, a short-acting anesthetic medication is administered via the IV catheter and the safest of inhalant gas anesthesia is provided to maintain a safe plane of surgical anesthesia.

Surgical Procedure

During surgery, safety is always our first and most important objective. We constantly monitor your pet’s vital signs including heart rate, heart rhythm, respiratory rate, blood pressure, blood oxygenation, body temperature, and depth of anesthetic plane. Based on these close observations, we stand ready and able to make appropriate anesthetic adjustments as needed. For most procedures, the incision is made with our surgical laser. The laser makes for a more comfortable and faster recovery period for your pet as it eliminates bleeding and reduces pain and swelling. To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, pain medications are administered at three intervals: before, during, and after surgery.

Post Surgery Recovery

Our surgical team will monitor your pet throughout the post-anesthetic recovery period. After surgery you will receive a call to update you on your pet’s status and to confirm your discharge appointment time. You will be given a customized and detailed discharge packet that outlines how to properly care for your pet at home. When needed, an e-collar will be provided to help prevent self-inflicted damage to the surgical site. We regularly send pain medication home to help keep your pet comfortable post-operatively. A medical progress exam will be scheduled so your veterinarian can check the progress of your pet’s healing.

Dental Cleaning Procedures at Family VetCare

At Family VetCare, we provide professional dental cleanings to evaluate the oral cavity and clean the teeth.  It is a long-known fact that bacteria in the mouth affect more than just the teeth and gums; these bacteria can also invade the blood stream and lead to serious medical problems of the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. With dentistry, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and as a side bonus, dental cleanings help keep your pet’s breath fresh and clean!

Here are the steps we take to make your pet’s mouth a healthier place:

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ULTRASONIC SCALER

We use an ultrasonic scaler to clean the teeth above and below the gum line. An ultrasonic scaler is a power-driven scaler that vibrates at high frequency to remove calculus and stain while disrupting bacteria and biofilm. Dental bacteria found below the gum line can cause serious and painful infections that damage the gums and destroy the jawbones (periodontal disease). Periodontal disease then leads to other, more serious infections involving the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys.

Polishing the Teeth

Tooth polishing is done to smoothen the surfaces of the teeth, making plaque buildup a slower process in the future. Polishing can also help remove stain and other mineral components of the saliva.

Flush the Gums

The acts of scaling and polishing can cause debris to become trapped under the gums. This could lead to local inflammation and the increased risk of future periodontal disease. We gently flush the gums with an antibacterial solution to prevent these undesirable outcomes.

Digital Oral Radiographs

Dental radiographs are images of your pets’ teeth used to evaluate their overall health. Most people are surprised to learn that two-thirds of a pet’s tooth is hidden out of sight and beneath the gum line. The majority of the teeth are not visible without radiographs, so these images are used to fully visualize each tooth in order to identify dental problems, surrounding soft tissue problems and even problems related to the jaw bones and joints.

Treatment Plan

We perform thorough dental and oral exams to assess our patients for problems including pain, tooth decay, gum loss, periodontal infections, and a whole host of other potential issues. These findings are charted to provide you with a complete dental assessment and will help you stay on track to optimize future oral and dental health for your pet. Based on these findings, we will determine the best plan of action to treat the problem and eliminate the associated pain and infection. Our treatment plans will also include tips and tricks to help prevent the same problems in the future.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride treatment helps to strengthen teeth by repairing weak tooth enamel. Fluoride treatments are helpful to prevent gum disease, reduce tooth sensitivity and prevent the premature loss of teeth.