General

 

What is a board certified veterinarian?

Board certified veterinarians have completed advanced training in their specialty. After finishing their 4 years of veterinary school, these doctors go on to complete a 1 year internship followed by a 3 to 5 year residency. Following this they must complete a published research project and pass an extensive, multi-day exam, after which they receive their certification.

What is CareCredit?

CareCredit is a financing option for you and your family. If you are approved, our staff will work with you to choose the financing plan that is right for you. CareCredit will then send you statements for the agreed upon promotional period, giving you flexibility in financing your pet’s care.

How are payments handled?

Af the time your veterinarian comes up with a treatment plan, a deposit for services is required. This can be made in the form of cash, check, credit card, or financing through CareCredit.

What is a treatment plan?

A treatment plan is the proposed course of action that your veterinarian believes is best for your pet. Your veterinarian will explain what each part means and why it is necessary before proceeding.

 

Specialty Care and Consults

 

What do I need to bring with me to my consult appointment?

Bring any X-Rays, medical records, medication lists, and lab results related to your pet case. Having a thorough understanding of your pet’s background is an important part of determining a treatment plan.

Why do I need to see a specialist?

Veterinary specialists are extensively trained in their specific fields. This specialty training allows the rapid detection of rare diseases, access to advanced diagnostics and state of he art care.

How will my primary veterinarian be involved in my pet’s procedures?

Our veterinarians will work together with your primary veterinarian to establish a treatment plan that is best for your pet. The referring doctor is familiar with the patient and has a best understanding of the patient’s full medical background, so it is important for our specialists to work with your primary veterinarian as they familiarize themselves with your pet’s care.

 

Surgery

 

What is a board certified surgeon?

A board certified surgeon or a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) is a veterinarian who has undergone advanced training in surgery. Following 4 year veterinary school, surgeons undergo a 1 year general internship, 3 year surgical residency and pass an intensive 3 day exam.

What do I need to do to prepare my pet for surgery?

To decrease the risk of anesthetic complications, do not feed your pet after 10pm the night before the surgery. Water can be provided at all times. Ask your surgeon about administering certain medications the day before or the day of surgery.

When should I drop off my pet for surgery?

We schedule surgery drop offs intermittently starting at 7:15 a.m. the morning of surgery. Exceptions to the early drop off can be made for cases scheduled later in the day and owners driving from longer distances. The entire drop off process takes about 15 to 30 minutes. At the time of drop off, a nurse will meet with you to have a general anesthesia/consent form signed.

What happens before my pet’s surgery?

At your scheduled drop off time, a nurse will meet with you to discuss and sign a general anesthesia and consent form. Make sure you bring current medications your pet is taking, along with any special food they need. One of our nurses will take your pet to the surgical prep area where the doctor will perform a pre-anesthetic exam and blood work, and a nurse will place an IV catheter for medications and fluids.

How will I know my pet is done with surgery?

After surgery, a doctor or technician will call you with an update on your pet’s status.

Where does my pet go after surgery?

Once surgery is complete, your pet is transferred to our ICU for postoperative care and monitoring. The ICU is staffed 24 hours a day, allowing us to continuously provide IV fluids, pain and other medications, feedings, walks, and other care your pet might need. Please feel free to call at any point to check on your pet.

When can I visit my pet?

After your pet’s surgery, feel free to call and make an appointment with our reception staff to visit. Visiting times can be limited by the need to administer treatments, rounds and/or emergency cases.

What if I have questions after-hours?

Questions can commonly arise in the hours and days following discharge. You will receive a post-op call from our office usually the day after discharge to see if you have any concerns. If you have immediate concerns during regular business hours call the office at 843-216-7554. If you have any after hours concerns call the emergency service at 843-216-7554 as a surgeon is on call 24 hours a day.

When should my dog have a first bowel movement after surgery?

In some cases, it can take as long as 4 to 5 days for your dog to have a bowel movement. This is due to a slowing of movement in the GI tract as a result of a decreased diet, anesthesia, pain medications, and the surgery itself. If your pet is straining to defecate and cannot produce any stool, please contact your surgeon.

My dog does not want to eat following surgery, what should I do?

Lack of appetite immediately following surgery can be common. While they may not be interested in their regular food, they will often be enticed by canned dog food or bland human foods (such as white chicken meat without the skin, rice, etc). Make sure to avoid high fat foods as these can result in further GI upset. If your dog is still not eating after 24 hours, please contact your surgeon.

My cat had surgery and is not eating, what should I do?

Cats cannot tolerate going without food as long as dogs. If your cat refuses to eat for more than 12 hours following discharge, please contact your surgeon.

Is vomiting normal after surgery?

After surgery, many pets can experience nausea as a side effect of anesthesia, their medications, or the surgery itself. A single episode of vomiting after eating a large amount of food or water is normal. If this happens, do not offer any more food or water for four hours. Then, gradually offer small amounts of food and water. If your pet still continues to vomit, please contact your surgeon.

How do I know if my pet is in pain after surgery?

Signs of pain include: crying, biting (near the surgical site), panting, restlessness and inability to sleep. If your dog had abdominal or thoracic surgery; look for pacing, the pet will not lie down on the incision, or will continually sit up in spite of appearing tired.

Most pain dramatically improves in the first 2-3 days following surgery. At the time of discharge your pet will be sent home with medications to treat their pain and/or inflammation as well as specific care instructions. These medications can include duragesic patches, tramadol, Tylenol 3, buprenorpine, anti-inflammatory medications (vetprofen, meloxicam, dermaxx, etc.) and or sedatives (acepromazine, valium, trazodone). If you think your pet is experiencing pain following surgery contact your surgeon as these medications may need to be adjusted.

Please note that dogs and cats cannot process certain human medications. For this reason we do not recommend administering Tylenol, aspirin, ibuprofen and/or additional narcotic/sedative medications without first talking with your surgeon.

The most common cause of increased pain following surgery, especially following orthopedic procedures, is overactive pets. Patients should be kept confined following surgery in a quiet, stress free environment.

Is there anything else I can do to help my pet recover from his procedure?

At the time of discharge you will be giving special care instructions specific to your pet and his procedure. While some surgeries might require a cold pack other procedures may require the application of heat or other such measures. Please make sure before you leave that you know and are comfortable with what aftercare requirements are recommended for your pet to insure their speedy recovery.

Why does my pet need to wear an E-collar (cone of shame)?

The collar around your pet’s neck is designed to keep them from licking their wounds. Licking can delay the healing process, remove stitches and lead infections. A t-shirt can also be used to cover chest or upper abdominal incisions, just make sure to gather the waist of the shirt on the pet’s back and secure it with a rubber band to prevent it from falling forward. On a limb, a sock can be used to prevent licking. If the incision site appears red or irritated, this is an indicator your animal has been licking their wound.