Food and Water: Do not feed your pet after midnight (including treats, breakfast the morning of surgery, etc.) the night before surgery. There are no restrictions on water before surgery, so your pet may have access to water as normal. If your pet may have eaten after midnight, please do not cancel your appointment, but let our staff know at check-in on the morning of your pet’s surgery.
Bathing/Grooming: Your pet will not be able to be bathed for two weeks after surgery, so please make preparations for any bathing/grooming to be done prior to surgery, if necessary.
Vaccines: We require proof of prior rabies vaccine on the day of surgery. If you are not able to provide proof of a current rabies vaccines (i.e. rabies tag, invoice from veterinarian, rabies certificate, etc.), your pet will be required to receive a rabies vaccine with us on the day of surgery. If your pet is current on vaccines, please bring proof. We strongly recommend that your dog or cat be up-to-date on vaccinations before arriving at PetFix. Likewise, if your pet has been to the veterinarian 30 days prior to his or her spay/neuter appointment, please bring all records from that visit to your pet’s appointment. If your pet has a medical condition, please let us know when you schedule the appointment.
The Day of Surgery: Please bring your cat in a carrier (no more than 2 cats may share 1 carrier) and dog on a leash. Please leave your pets in your car while you register and fill out paperwork. Once your registration is complete, a staff member will advise you to bring in your pet. If you do not have enough cat carriers, cardboard carriers are available at no charge. Please let us know when scheduling your appointment or at check-in if you need additional cat carriers.
Payment: Please bring your full payment for surgery at check-in on the day of your pet’s surgery. We accept cash, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover (no American Express). Checks are NOT accepted at the PetFix clinic.
Rescheduling: We understand that at times, rescheduling your pet’s appointment is necessary. If you need to reschedule, please try to do so as early as possible so that we may fill your pet’s open appointment with wait-listed clients.
The night after surgery
Food and water: Unless told otherwise at discharge, start with a very small (1/8 cup) meal of your pet’s regular food. Offer a small (1/4 cup) amount of water. If this stays down for an hour, then offer another small meal and drink. Do not allow your pet to “guzzle” unlimited water or food, as this often leads to an upset stomach and/or vomiting. Likewise, no strange foods or treats should be given the first night after surgery. If your pet has no interest in food or water the first night after surgery, this is not a cause for concern. If, however, he or she does not eat the day following surgery, please contact us.
Incision site: Look at your pet’s incision. We recommend taking a picture of it the night after surgery so that you may refer back to it during the healing process. It is important to monitor your pet’s incision closely; check it at least once a day for the next 2 weeks. Mild swelling, bruising, and even a little pinkish discharge can all be normal for the first 24 hours. After that, any redness, discharge, or discomfort is not normal, so please contact us. We will recheck any incision at no charge at the clinic but please call us at 216–732–7040 to schedule a recheck appointment. It is better to be overly cautious than to wait too long.
Male cats: Because the incision sites for male cats are so small, we do not have to use sutures to close them. They will resemble a small paper cut; because of this, your male cat may spot a small amount of blood for the first 24 hours after surgery. Please monitor your cat and keep him off of any good bedding or furniture during this time.
Things to keep in mind for the next 14 days:
Licking: Do not let your pet lick its incision. For dogs especially, we strongly recommend using the e-collar (cone) provided by PetFix on the day of your pet's surgery. Allowing an animal to lick its incision can lead to many problems, ranging from infection to opening of the incision line. If your pet experiences an issue that could have been prevented by wearing an e-collar, PetFix will not be responsible for any post-surgical complications related to this.
Exercise: Dogs should be leash-walked only (no running loose or rough-housing) for two weeks after surgery. Cats should be kept indoors, if possible, for one full week. Excess activity can lead to swelling at the incision or tearing of the sutures and opening of the incision.
Bathing/Grooming: No baths or swimming for two weeks after surgery. There is no need to clean the incision with anything; do not apply any ointments, bandages, or medications to the incision site.
Common Post-Operative Questions:
Vomiting: Vomiting is the most common post-anesthesia complication. Vomiting once or twice the night after surgery may be normal. However, if your pet vomits several times, or if the vomiting persists into the next day, you need to contact us. We can give medication to help stop the nausea. Your pet could be at risk for dehydration and severe illness if he or she is not seen quickly.
Trembling: Shaking or trembling for the first night home can be a normal side effect of the anesthesia wearing off, as your pet’s temperature drops during anesthesia. It should resolve completely within 24 hours. If it does not, please contact us.
Pain medication: If pain medication is sent home, it should be started the next day (given with food). All animals receive pain medication during surgery that will last the first 24 hours. If your pet is vomiting, no pain medications should be given (they can be irritating to the stomach) and you need to contact us.
Incision site: A small, firm, knuckle-sized swelling at the incision site can be a normal reaction as the suture knot under the skin dissolves. It should be completely gone within a month of surgery.
If you have a post-operative question or concern during normal operating hours, please contact us (Monday through Friday 9AM to 4:30PM) at 216-732-7040. If necessary, we will schedule at time for you to bring your pet in for a no charge, recheck appointment.
If you have a concern outside of business hours, please contact PetFix via the medical advice line listed on your pet’s discharge instructions and medical record. If you are sent to voice mail, please leave a detailed message and you will be called back by our veterinarian.
If your pet requires emergency care, please call or visit your regular veterinarian or local emergency vet clinic. See below for more information on decision-making in case of emergency. Each client is responsible for paying the cost of the visit.
PetFix Northeast Ohio cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from failure to follow post-op instructions, for pre-existing conditions, age or health-related issues brought on by the surgery, or for contagious diseases for which the animal was not previously properly vaccinated.
Managing Common Complications and Decision-Making in Case of Emergency
The documents below (click the link) were created to help our clients with decision-making around common post spay/neuter complications. Please seek emergency care right away for your pet if you still feel something is very wrong after carefully reading the appropriate document below.
FEMALE DOG Post-Surgical Concerns
MALE DOG Post-Surgical Concerns
FEMALE CAT Post-Surgical Concerns
MALE CAT Post-Surgical Concerns