Surgery / Orthopedics - Pre Surgery Information

To Prepare For Surgery

Pre-operative bloodwork

Before any surgery, it is important to rule-out potential health risks; for your pet’s safety, we request that blood work be done within 2 weeks of the scheduled surgery day (unless otherwise indicated by your pet’s surgeon). This may be done here at VRCC or with your regular veterinarian, whichever is more convenient for you.

Preoperative Medication Guidelines

Please bring a detailed list of all medications or supplements with you the day of surgery. If your pet requires any medications during their stay, please bring them with you. This applies to special food diets as well.

If your pet is on steroids, or aspirin, please let us know immediately. These medications limit our choices for postoperative pain relief, and can increase the risk of bleeding disorders and/or infection. Generally, we need your pet to have not taken these meds for at least 5-7 days before any surgical procedure. We can help devise a step down plan to achieve this goal. Your surgeon will discuss with you what will be in your pet’s best interest.

The night before surgery

Take all food and snacks away from your pet after 10 p.m. A small amount of water is okay to leave available. If you normally give nighttime medications, continue as normal, unless directed otherwise by our staff.

The day of surgery

When you arrive at VRCC on the day of your pet’s scheduled surgery, you will be expected to sign the Consent for Surgery form, fill out an Anesthesia Questionnaire, verify phone numbers where you or a family member can be contacted, leave a deposit (50% of the surgical estimate unless other previous arrangements have been made), and briefly meet with the admitting technician to answer any of your questions. If you’d rather fill the forms out in advance, they are available for download below. Please note that the Consent for Surgery form requires a witness, so please wait to sign it until you are here.

Important Reminders:

Please make sure your pet has attempted to both urinate and defecate before admitting.

If your pet already has an E-collar (aka lampshade, or cone) please bring it with you at admit drop-off.

Please have an idea of any medication refills you may need for after surgery. If your pet is already taking a medication for their condition, please discuss this with your surgeon and he or she can dispense refills if needed.

It is a good idea to have your pet groomed prior to surgery, he/she may not have another opportunity for 2-10 weeks.

Daytime Visiting Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm

Overnight Visiting Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 pm to 6 am

Visiting times should be arranged at the time of admit, or by contacting us at 303-874-2073.

Should our available visitation times not accommodate your needs, our staff will be happy to schedule an appropriate time.

Visitation may be discouraged in excitable or anxious pets. For most procedures, it is best to allow your pet to rest quietly without disturbances that may be made by visiting.

We ask that you limit your visit to 15 minutes. This allows the technician caring for your pet to continue on schedule with his/her prescribed treatments.

Visitors are required to sign in at the front desk, wear a name ID badge, and have an escort when walking back to visit.

VRCC is open 24 hours, and a veterinary technician is always available by phone at 303-874-PETS (7387) to give you an update on your pet.

During the hours of 6 pm to 7 am, your pet is being cared for by our Specialty Patient Care Team. These technicians care for all overnight hospitalized patients, and are able to give you updates on the general well-being of your pet, but are unable to comment on surgery specifics or aftercare instructions. For that information, please call us at 303-874-2073 during the hours of 7 am and 6 pm.

Sometimes, to provide the best care for your pet, the doctor or technicians may ask that you delay or limit visitation. Healing can be an exhausting process!

Patient Intake Form (PDF) >

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