Frequently Asked Questions
Pacific Cat Clinic patients are seen by appointment. Please contact us at 250.475.2287 to arrange an appointment time.
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There is no advantage to letting your pet have one litter. However, there are plenty of advantages to having your pet spayed or neutered. These advantages include decreasing the chances of breast tumors later in life, decreasing the chance of cystic ovaries and uterine infections later in life, decreasing the desire to roam the neighborhood, decreasing the risk of prostate cancer later in life, helping prevent spraying and marking, and also decreases the surplus of unwanted puppies and kittens.
Spaying or neutering can be done at approximately 4-5 months of age or when they reach 2 kg. Your pet is given an exam prior to surgery to help determine whether your pet is healthy enough to undergo the surgical procedure. Current vaccinations are required at the time of surgery. Also a pre-anesthetic blood screen is recommended prior to undergoing anesthesia and surgery.
This is a series of blood tests that are completed either here in the clinic prior to surgery, or sent to an offsite laboratory depending on the age and health of your cat. Blood tests look at organ functions, blood counts, and clotting function of your pet. The pre-anesthetic blood screening is done to assure safety during surgery and the ability to heal following surgery.
Today’s modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. Here at Pacific Cat Clinic, we perform a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that a fever or other illness won’t be a problem. We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet. Our handout on anesthesia explains this in greater detail, please see our friendly and knowledgeable staff for access to this brochure or for more information.
Pre-anesthetic blood testing is important in reducing risk while under anesthesia. We strongly recommend that every pet receive blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic. Even apparent healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications.
Animals that have minor medical concerns will handle the anesthetic better if they receive IV fluids during surgery. If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected.
We offer blood testing before surgery, which we will go over with you when you bring your pet in. Our doctors prefer a more comprehensive screen, this gives them the most information to ensure the safety of your pet. For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well.
It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting and aspiration during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery. Water can be left out for the pet until the morning of surgery.
Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals. Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don’t whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it. Pain medication will be administered based on the surgery performed. Major procedures require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations. We are committed to ensuring that your pet will remain pain free for the duration of the surgery, recovery, and subsequent healing time. If for any reason you suspect your cat may be in pain, please let us know and we will do our best to alleviate the discomfort.
For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin. These will dissolve on their own, and do not need to be removed later. Some surgeries, especially tumor removals or wound repairs, do require skin stitches. With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. Most cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for. If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery by your vet. You will also need to limit your pet’s activity level for a time, and no baths are allowed for the first 10 days after surgery.
While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as ear cleaning, implanting an identification microchip, or tattooing the ear as identification. If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time. This is especially important if the person dropping your cat off for surgery is not the primary decision maker for care.
When you bring your cat in for surgery, we will need 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and ask any pertinent questions as they apply to your cat’s individual case, including a signature for informed consent. Upon discharge, you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet’s home care needs.