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Pre-Surgical Information

When your pet checks-in for their surgical procedure at Companion Animal Hospital, there are some pre-surgical options available we would like you to be aware of.  

By reviewing this information, it will help expedite your pet’s check-in process.

Food & Water

Your pet should not be fed the morning of their procedure, but water is fine, (diabetic patients and rabbits are excluded from fasting – please feed as usual).


Please bring a list of current medications and/or supplements with the date and time of the last dose recorded, this includes over the counter supplements, vitamins, and topical medications.


If your pet is not current on their rabies vaccination and is healthy enough to respond to the vaccine, the vaccine will be given with the fee added to the invoice.  If your pet is due in the next 3 months for any vaccines, we would recommend doing those the day of their surgery. 


Some clients chose to have a microchip done at the time of anesthesia with routine spay or neuter procedures.  This is a permanent form of identification that is implanted under your pet's skin.  We use the AKC Companion Animal Recovery Microchip.  

IV Catheter

Most patients undergoing anesthesia will have an intravenous (IV) catheter pre-placed in their front leg.  In case of an emergency, this allows venous access for more rapid administration of life saving drugs if needed.  Your pet may go home with a green wrap on their leg which can be removed after being discharged.  

Pain Meds

With many procedures we will also give pain medication in the hospital and often send home medication to be given during the recovery process. Acupuncture may be part of your pet’s pain intraoperative management plan.

Lab Work

Procedures requiring anesthesia are always associated with a certain amount of risk, whether the patient is a person or a pet.  Like you, we want to minimize that risk as much as possible.  This requires a physical exam (if the pet has not been seen within the past few weeks) and pre-anesthetic testing.  General anesthesia has become safer in recent years with newer drugs and better patient monitoring.  However, some conditions may not be evident on a physical exam.  To better ensure your pet’s safety during anesthesia, we advise the following pre-anesthetic tests to be performed, even for elective procedures such as dentistries.  These procedures are recommended but not required.  There are additional fees for these screenings.

  • If your pet is under 5 years of age and has no outward physical problems, we suggest a CBC, a feline leukemia / FIV test if a cat, or a heartworm check (with tick disease screening, such as Lyme disease) if a dog.

  • If your pet is over 5 years of age but less than 8 years with no outward physical problems, we suggest a CBC with a blood chemistry profile, a feline leukemia / FIV test if a cat, or a heartworm/tick disease screen if a dog.

  • If your pet is over 8 years of age, we suggest a CBC with a blood chemistry profile, a thyroid level if a cat, a heartworm/tick disease screen if a dog, and an ECG to check the heart.


Regarding mass removal or exploratory procedures, you have the option to submit tissue samples to a referral laboratory for further diagnostics such as staging and prognosis.  We advise histopathology for most mass removals.


Anesthetic death is extremely rare, but in humans and animals alike it is always a risk while undergoing anesthesia.  In this situation, we would initiate CPR and life-saving injections immediately.  Sometimes, such as in the case of an older or more sick pet, a person may not wish for resuscitation attempts to be performed on their pet.  For this reason, all clients will be asked at the time of surgery check-in about what to do in this rare but serious situation.  Checking the DNR box would mean that if the heart would stop during anesthesia, no attempt would be made to do compression or give medication to restart the heart. 

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