The night before…


For Dogs and Cats, please do not feed your pet after 11.00 pm
the evening before admission. Ideally, a little food should be fed around 10.00 pm.  Water should be left available during the night until 7.30 am on the day of admission.   

For Small Furries – such as Rabbits, Guinea-Pigs etc then you do not need to withhold food and water. 

On the day of admission...
  • Please allow your pet the opportunity to relieve themselves before coming into the surgery.  Please also try and make sure your pet is CLEAN and DRY as well.
  • You will be given an admission appointment with a nurse between 8.30 am and 9.15 am.  At this appointment, you will be asked to sign a consent form, which details the procedure to be performed (eg x-ray chest, spey, blood tests etc).  Please check the details carefully and raise any queries you have with the nurse at this point.  Please also make sure that any additional procedures (such as clipping nails, or microchipping) are mentioned and added to the consent form at this time.
  • On the consent form, your attention is drawn to the fact that all anaesthetics do carry a degree of risk to the patient.  The risk is small.  All animals are given a clinical examination prior to the anaesthesia to ascertain, as far as possible, that there are no obvious underlying problems that could increase that risk.  It is essential that you read and understand the Consent Form before you sign it.  Please do not hesitate to ask for further clarification.
Blood Tests and Intravenous Fluids

  • For some older pets (eg over 7 years), or those that have had previous illnesses, the vet may recommend that a small blood screen be done prior to the anaesthesia. This is to help detect underlying problems such as kidney compromise, diabetes, liver problems or anaemias. For peace of mind owners of younger pets may also wish to have the tests carried out. Please discuss this with the nurse if required. NB – doing the tests is not a guarantee that there will be no problems, but the more we know about your pet, the more prepared we can be.
  • For some animals that are elderly, unwell or due to having a long procedure, the vet may have recommended that he/she is placed on an intravenous drip. This should have been discussed with your prior to the procedure but please feel free to discuss with further with the nurse at admission. The additional cost of the screening and fluid pack is approximately £82.00 (inc VAT)
Anaesthetics, Sedation  and  Recovery
  • We generally use drugs called Propofol or Alfaxan for all cat and dog anaesthetic inductions and maintain them with a gas called Isofluorane.  These modern drugs allow your pet to recover from the anaesthetic more rapidly and with less of a “hangover” effect.
  • If your pet has had an anaesthetic or sedation, we don’t like to send them home until they have fully recovered from the effects of the drugs.  This can vary between animals.  We also don’t like to send them home until we are happy that their pain relief is satisfactory.
  • For certain procedures, it may be necessary to shave some hair.  This may just be limited to the leg (for an intravenous cannula) or the area required for a surgical procedure.  Chest or abdominal ultrasound may require extensive hair clipping.
  • Recovery times from anaesthetics are very variable, but most pets will be able to go home in the afternoon/evening.  If you have not been advised sooner, then please call after 3.00 pm to check on your pet’s progress and likely discharge time.
Contacting you on the day…
  • We will ask you to leave us a phone number that we can contact you on during the day. This is very important in case we need to update you on the progress or in event of needing to discuss urgent matters or further treatment with you. VOICEMAIL DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A CONTACT NUMBER.
  • If you have taken your cat carrier home, please remember to bring this with you when come to collect your cat afterwards!
The evening after…

  • You will be given a tin of convalescent diet food to feed to your pet in the evening.  It is a palatable and easily digestible food.  You can resume normal feeding the following day unless otherwise instructed.
  • If your pet is sent home with medication, the nurse will go through the instructions with you at discharge.  If follow up medication is required, this should be started the following morning unless otherwise instructed.  Please make sure you are happy with all the medication instructions BEFORE you take your pet back home with you.  If in doubt – please don’t hesitate to ask if you require any further information.
  • Most pets do not chew their sutures out. However, complications will occur if your pet does interfere with wounds.  A  Buster Collar is advisable so please ask us if you want to purchase one.

For animals that have had a surgical procedure...

2-3 Days Post Surgery
We ask that you bring your pet back for a check-up appointment or send us an email with a photo of the operation site.  This is to ensure that he/she has fully recovered from the anaesthetic, is not interfering with the wound/sutures and that there is no sign of complications such as infection.  There is no additional fee for this appointment.

10 Days Post Surgery
Sutures can normally be removed at this point.  It is not a painful procedure and is done in a normal appointment by a nurse or a vet.  Exercise should be restricted to lead only walks until the sutures are removed.

Histology/Pathology/Lab Reports

 
  •  If your pet has needed to have tissue samples sent away for analysis, then this typically takes up to 14 days, although often the results can be back sooner than this.  You will be contacted by us when the results are back so we can discuss the findings and any further plans with you.
  • The results of any blood, swab, urine tests etc will vary according to the type of test requested.  Most samples take approximately 1-3 days to come back.  We shall try and advise you if we think the results will be any longer than this
Existing Medications

 
  • If your pet is already on medication then please continue taking this as normal prior to the procedure, UNLESS told otherwise by a vet or nurse.
  • If your pet is due medication on the morning of the procedure (ie with food) – please contact us for advice as this will vary depending on the medication and/or the condition being treated.
  • If your pet is diabetic and taking insulin injections then please:
    • Unless told otherwise, do not feed your pet on the morning of the procedure.
    • Give 1/3rd of the normal dose of insulin by injection at the normal time. So, for example, if your pet is on 12 unit, then we suggest giving around 4 units.
    • Make sure that when booking your pet in for the day, that you alert the staff that your pet is diabetic as we will need to try and ensure that your pet is done earlier on in the day.
Overnight Hospitalisation or Emergency Out of Hours Care.

 
  • Unfortunately, we do not have the capability for staff to be present at the surgery throughout the night as well as during the day.
  • If your pet requires hospitalising overnight or during the weekend hours that we are closed then we have the following options:
    • For very ill or high dependency animals that require constant supervision, they can be transferred to the Queen Mother Hospital in Potters bar.  This large hospital employs dedicated night staff who are able to care for your pet throughout the night if required.
    • For less critical animals, they can remain in our practice overnight.  There are fully monitored up until 7 pm, and also have a further check at 10 pm.  For dogs, we can make sure they have been toileted appropriately before bedtime.  During weekends, they are supervised with similar hours if required.
  • The fees for overnight/weekend care do vary according to whether the patient stays with us or is transferred.
  • Please feel free to discuss any aspect of this with the vet/nurse when your pet is admitted.

Rabbits and Caged Pets (“Small Furries”)

If we are admitting the smaller species of animals such as Rabbits, Guinea-Pigs, Hamsters etc, then the following need to apply:

  • Food and Water do NOT need to be withheld prior to admission. 
  • We ask that you let us know how they take their water – ie from a bottle, drinker or bowl.
  • It can help to bring a small amount of their normal food as well so we can try to get them eating as soon as possible after their procedure.