Pre/Post Operative Instructions

Pre-operative Instructions


Please read the following instructions carefully, as any animal that does not meet the outlined physical parameters for surgery (over/underweight, undisclosed medical conditions, vomiting anything other than bile), can be declined for surgery. If your pet has a medical condition or is currently on medications, please call us to confirm whether he/she is a good candidate for surgery within our program.

1. You must have an appointment. Please call the office please call 519 455-3824 (London ) or  519-894-2323 (Kitchener).

At the time of booking, please notify us of any behavioural issues, including aggression, to protect the safety of staff and enable surgery to proceed.

2. In order to protect your pet from the possibility of contracting an illness while here at the clinic, we recommend that you have your pet vaccinated at least two weeks prior to your appointment. Otherwise, vaccinations will be available at the time of surgery.  Proof of current rabies vaccination status is mandatory or your animal will be vaccinated at the time of surgery.  You will be responsible for these costs at check-in.

3. Animals must weigh at least 2 pounds or 1 kilogram, be between the ages of 6 weeks and 7 years, within normal weight range (between 3 and 7) according to the following criteria: or and be in good health. Older animals will be considered as surgical candidates at the discretion of the veterinarians.  This discussion must occur at the time of booking an appointment. Please advise us of any illnesses/treatments at the time of booking, or as soon as anything develops prior to surgery. Males must have two testicles present in the scrotal sac.  If two testicles are not present there will be extra surgical fees and/or you may be asked to rebook your appointment.

4. All food should be removed from adult animals at 10pm the evening prior to surgery, as vomiting while under anesthesia could be fatal. They may have water. Pets must be kept indoors or confined to ensure no food is consumed. Animals that vomit undigested food, clothing or foreign objects at any time during the medical process can be declined for surgery.

5. WEATHER PERMITTING, please leave your animal in the car until you have completed all of the required paperwork. A technician will advise you when to retrieve your pet.  Dogs will be called for first, followed by cats. During summer especially if it’s hot out, do not leave your pet in the car.

6. You must complete the necessary admission form when you arrive. Admission typically takes 15 minutes to complete.

7. All dogs must be on a leash and all cats must come in individual carriers.

8.  We accept cash, debit, or credit.  We do not accept cheques.  The surgery and any additional services, such as vaccines, microchips, etc, can be paid for the morning of surgery.

9. Animal pick-up is at 4:00pm/5:00pm on the same day.  It is imperative that you be here at the exact pick-up time, as this is when post-operative instructions are given for all animals.  Late fees may be charged to those arriving after 4pm/5pm.


Post-operative Instructions


What to expect when you get your pet home.

Your pet has had major surgery. The surgery requires general anesthesia. The patient is completely asleep and unable to feel pain. In female dogs and cats, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall. Females are then unable to get pregnant. In both male dogs and cats, the scrotum is not removed, only the testicles. Removal of the testicles prevents production of sperm and the male dog or cat will no longer be able to father puppies or kittens. Male cats and dogs will have residual sperm for up to 60 days, please prevent contact with any intact females for 2 months.  Your pet has received pain medication and will go home with at least 2 more days of liquid pain medication.

Surgical Site

Female dogs and cats have a mid-line incision in their abdomen. Male dogs have an incision just above the scrotum and male cats have two incisions, one in each side of the scrotum. Check the incision site daily. What you see on the day of surgery is what we consider normal. There should be no drainage. Redness and swelling should be minimal. Males may appear as if they still have testicles — this is normal, the swelling should subside gradually through the recovery period.

DO NOT ALLOW YOUR PET TO LICK OR CHEW AT THE INCISION. To avoid this, every pet except for male cats are sent home with an e-collar.  Your pet MUST wear this collar continuously for 7-10 days. If your pet licks, he/she can open the incision or cause infection, incurring additional veterinary costs.

Your pet will receive a small green tattoo on it’s abdomen to indicate that he/she has been spayed or neutered.  This is not an extra incision.

In Heat

If your female dog or cat was in heat at the time of surgery, you must keep them away from un-neutered males for at least two weeks. While they are unable to become pregnant, they will still attract intact males.


Unless you are told otherwise, your pet does not have external sutures. All sutures are absorbable and buried under the skin.  The very outer layer of skin may have surgical glue applied. Do not clean or apply topical ointment to the incision site. If you are told that your pet has skin sutures or skin staples, they will need to return in 10-14 days to have those removed. Male cats do not have any sutures.


EVAH will be following the 2011 AAHA & 2013 AAFP recommendations for Canine & Feline Vaccination.  In brief, if your pet has received their first set of DAPPV or FVRCP vaccines at the time of surgery, or they are under 4 months of age, they will require a booster in 4 – 6 weeks time.   Animals over 4 months of age should be boosted with DAPPV or FVRCP every 3 years.  They will also require a rabies vaccine, beginning at 4 months of age, which will require boosting in 1 year and then every 3 years.  Lepto and Bordetella vaccines need to be boosted annually.  If you wish to use EVAH as your regular veterinarian, please call to book an appointment at 519 455-3824.


Some animals are active after surgery, while others are quiet. It is very important that you limit your pet’s activity for the next 7-10 days. No running, jumping, playing, baths, swimming, or other strenuous activity during the 7-10 day recovery period. Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry, and warm. Dogs must be walked on a leash and cats must be kept inside. Keep your pet quiet. Dogs and female cats have internal sutures and external skin glue that provide strength to the tissue as it heals. Any strenuous activity could disrupt this healing process. The healing process takes at least 7 days.


Your pet’s appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery.  Kittens and puppies under 4 months are fed at the hospital on recover.  Lethargy lasting for more than 24 hours after surgery, diarrhea, or vomiting are not normal and you should contact us immediately.  Do not change your pet’s diet at this time and do not give junk food, table scraps, milk or any other people food for a period of one week. This could mask post-surgical complications.

Potential Complications

Spaying and neutering are very safe surgeries; however, complications can occur. Minimal redness, bruising, and swelling should resolve within several days. If it persists longer, please contact us. Please contact us immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • pale gums
  • depression
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • discharge or bleeding from the incision
  • difficulty urinating
  • labored breathing

If you have any questions or concerns directly related to the surgery during the recovery period, please call 519 455-3824 (London ) or  519-894-2323 (Kitchener).

If there is an emergency after hours, contact your regular veterinarian or the London Regional Veterinary Referral and Emergency Clinic at 519 432-3300. In Kitchener, you can call the

Emergency Vet Clinic of Waterloo Region at 519-650-1617 . You are responsible for all veterinary bills incurred at other clinics, these fees will not be refunded.

We will treat at our clinic, at minimal cost, any post-op complications resulting directly from the surgery, if the above post-operative instructions are followed in full. Your regular veterinarian can address illnesses or injuries that are not a direct result of surgery. Please call for an appointment as soon as you see cause for concern.

We do not accept walk-in appointments. We cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from failure to follow post-op instructions, including not consistently using an e-collar, or for contagious disease for which the animal was not previously properly vaccinated.

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