Longmont Veterinary Services

Wellness Care | Medicine | Surgical Care & Anesthesia | Diagnostic Services

Surgical Care & Anesthesia

Surgical Care

Cambridge Animal Hospital offers a wide variety of soft tissue and orthopedic surgery including:

  • Castration (neuter) and ovariohysterectomy (spay)
  • Tumor removals
  • Eye surgery
  • Abdominal surgery such as exploratory laparotomy, foreign body removal from stomach or intestines, bloat, splenectomy, bladder stone removal
  • Juvenile Pubic Symphysealodesis (JPS) - to decrease hip dysplasia in at risk dogs
  • Upper Respiratory Surgery such as soft palate resection, nares repair
  • Laceration and wound care
  • Orthopedic surgeries including cruciate repair, femoral head ostectomy (FHO), luxation repair and more!

For more specialized procedures, including TPLO repair, we will not hesitate to have a board certified surgeon perform a procedure at our clinic or refer to a specialty referral center of your choice.

  • What to expect when my pet is having surgery

    Night Before:

    Dogs and cats should not have any food after 8pm. This decreases the risk of pneumonia and damage to the trachea or esophagus in the event of regurgitation/vomiting of stomach contents during or after surgery. Water is fine to leave out during the night and can be offered up to the time of surgery. If your pet is on any medications, please check with the doctor for instructions on whether or not it should be given on the day of surgery.

    Note: Rabbits should not be fasted and should be allowed and encouraged to eat up until the procedure.

    Day of Surgery:

    Please plan to have your pet at the hospital for admission between 7:30am and 8:00am, unless otherwise instructed by the doctor.

    We will have some pre-surgical paperwork and an estimate for you to sign. Please be prepared to leave accurate phone numbers where we can contact you during the day in case we need to reach you during the procedure and so that we may call you with updates when the procedure is completed.

    Feel free to ask any questions when you drop off and you are always welcome to call at anytime for updates.

    Prior to surgery, the doctor will perform a full physical examination on your pet. Your pet will then receive an injection of premedication that usually includes a sedative and a pain medication.

    After Surgery:

    Most pets are able to go home the day of surgery. At Cambridge Animal Hospital we like for pets to be able to recover in the comfort of their own bed with their families. You will speak with a doctor or trained staff member upon discharge and will be given detailed written instructions for the care of your pet.

    We will contact you the following morning to ensure that the night went smoothly and to address any questions or concerns that you might have.

    Note: If your pet needs to be monitored by a professional or requires continued IV pain medication, we will either arrange for your pet to go home with one of our doctors, for one of our technicians to stay in the clinic overnight, or we will recommend a transfer to the emergency center for overnight care.

    General Home Care Instructions:

    1. Follow detailed written home care instructions.
    2. Give all medications as directed. Most pets will go home with some form of pain medication
    3. .
    4. Monitor the incision often and report any abnormalities (swelling, redness, pain, discharge). Also report any other abnormal symptoms such as lack of appetite, vomiting, difficulty breathing, or diarrhea.
    5. Please do not allow your pet to lick, chew or scratch the incision. We can provide special collars, bandages or other suggestions to help prevent this if needed.
    6. Return for follow up care as directed.

    Remember, your good after care is key to a fast recovery.


We take anesthesia very seriously, even in the most routine surgeries. We use the safest protocols and measures to ensure that we minimize the risk to your pet as much as possible and keep them as comfortable as possible. The following information outlines our efforts to make anesthesia for your pet as safe and comfortable as we can:

  1. A full physical examination is performed prior to all procedures.
  2. We recommend pre-surgical blood work to ensure that there are not any other health issues that might affect the choice of procedures or drugs used on your pet or indicate an increased risk of surgery for your pet (i.e. - anemia, kidney or liver issues, electrolyte imbalances).
  3. Balanced Anesthesia - This is the idea that we use a combination of several drugs in smaller doses rather than a single large dose of any one medication to help balance any potential risks associated with a single drug. We typically use a sedative, an injectable pain medication and either an injectable or an inhaled anesthetic (depending on the procedure being performed).
  4. Monitoring - A veterinary technician will be with your pet for the entire procedure monitoring their vital signs (this includes spays and neuters). We use advanced equipment to continually monitor your pet’s EKG (heart tracing), blood pressure, oxygen saturation (pulse oximetry), respiratory level, end tidal CO2, and temperature. This information is recorded electronically and transferred into your pet’s permanent record.
  5. Supportive Care - Every patient has an IV catheter placed prior to or during anesthesia. This allows us to administer IV fluids and electrolytes to support kidney function and blood pressure during anesthesia. IV fluids also help your pet clear anesthetic medications easier for a more rapid recovery. In addition, an IV catheter allows us to administer IV pain medication if needed and provides quick access for medications in the rare event that a complication occurs.
  6. Recovery - Monitoring of your pet’s vitals continues until they are fully awake from anesthesia. They are kept warm and additional pain medications are given if they are needed.