Parkway Veterinary Hospital

18 Spring Street
West Roxbury, MA 02132


What You Need to Know Before Your Pet's Upcoming Surgery


Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's surgery, and we hope this information will help. It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet's surgery.

Is the anesthetic safe?

At Parkway Veterinary Hospital, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet to ensure the patient is healthy to undergo surgery. We are careful to choose an appropriate anesthetic protocol based on the condition of your pet and the procedure being performed.

Pre- anesthetic blood testing is important to help determine the risk of anesthesia. Every pet is required to have pre-screening labwork before surgery to ensure that they can tolerate an anesthetic procedure. At Parkway Veterinary Hospital we also require a pre-surgical EKG (electrocardiogram) to evaluate cardiac function. If any abnormalities in the pre-surgical workup are concerning, the doctor will discuss them with you and consider rescheduling the surgical procedure.

Will my pet have sutures?

For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin. Absorbable sutures will dissolve on their own and do not need to be removed. Some surgeries do require skin sutures. You will need to monitor any incision for redness swelling or discharge. If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for 10 days and during the recovery no bathing or grooming is allowed.  Your pet may be sent home with an Elizabethan Collar to avoid licking or chewing at the incision.  

Will my pet be in pain?

At Parkway Veterinary Hospital, we manage each pet's surgical pain individually both intraoperatively and postoperatively. Pain medication dispensed will depend on surgery performed and the particular needs of the patient.

What other decisions do I need to make?

It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery. Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.  Please feed the last meal by 8:00 PM No food or treats after that time.   

Drop-off time for surgery is scheduled between 7:45 AM- 8:30 AM. You will need 5-10 minutes to fill out paperwork and leave contact information. When you pick up your pet after surgery, you can also plan to spend about 10-15 minutes discussing discharge instructions for your pet's home care needs. You will be asked at surgery drop-off to schedule a pick-up time between the hours of 4:00 and 6:45 PM.

We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery appointment to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet's health or surgery.