Small Animal Surgery Department

The Surgery Department at the Animal Hospital of West Chester is dedicated to optimizing patient outcomes. We do this by assembling a team that will provide the best possible care for your pet. Our veterinary surgeons work together to determine the least invasive and most effective procedures for your pet — whether it’s a spay, neuter, or more complicated dog or cat surgery.

Comprehensive Surgical Care

Animal Hospital of West Chester veterinarians maintain the highest standards of care for all surgical procedures. We have multiple anesthetics to choose from including inhalation (gas) anesthesia. Anesthesia is individualized for your pet based on current health, breed, and length of surgery. Using the most current technology your pet’s vital signs are monitored by our specially trained, licensed veterinary technician, who will remain with your pet through recovery.

  • All surgery patients will receive a pre-anesthetic injection to minimize anxiety, reduce anesthetic requirements, and provide pain management.
  • We encourage pre-surgical lab work prior to all procedures. ¬†Your pet’s lab results will help determine which anesthesia to use, which pain medications to use, and document health prior to his/her surgery.
  • An IV catheter will be placed in his/her front leg so fluids can be given during the procedure to maintain blood pressure, improve recovery, and provide vital access in the rare event of a crisis (for routine elective surgeries catheters are not mandatory).
  • All patients are kept warm during their procedure using a circulating water heating pad (made for infants).
  • A licensed veterinary technician will monitor your pet’s heart rate, EKG, mucus membrane color, capillary refill time, breaths per minute, oxygen level, body temperature, and blood pressure.
  • All incisions will receive a laser treatment during recovery. This pain-free therapy laser will provide immediate comfort and improve healing rates.

The surgery team will work diligently to minimize potential complications. Written detailed discharge instructions will be available during your pet’s release. The technician will go over these “home care instructions” in person. The technician and doctors will then monitor your pet’s continued recovery with follow-up phone consultations and recheck examinations.
Common Surgical Procedures:

  • Spay (remove ovaries and uterus),
  • Neuter (remove both testicles)
  • Dental Cleaning; including surgical extractions
  • Declaws
  • Cryptorchid Neuter
  • Umbilicial and Inguinal Hernia Repair
  • Cystotomy (remove bladder stones)
  • Gastrotomy (stomach surgery)
  • Splenectomy (remove the spleen)
  • Growth/Tumor Removal: skin, deep tissue, thoracic or abdominal
  • Liver biopsy & Liver Lobe Resection
  • Cruciate Repair: small dogs and cats only
  • Abdominal Exploratory Surgery
  • Enucleation (removal of the eye)
  • Fracture Repair
  • C-section
  • Amputations of toe, tail, and limb
  • Intestinal surgery
  • Esophagostomy Tube Placement
  • Gastropexy & GDV repair
  • Wound repair
  • Growth removal
  • Conjunctival flaps

Estimates will be created prior to all surgeries. All patients must have a recent examination by one of our veterinarians prior to surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get my pet to stop licking his/her incision?

To improve the healing rate of your pet’s incision, it is very important to deter all licking, chewing, rubbing, or scooting of the incision. The incision will take up to 7-14 days to fully heal. If your pet is able to lick the incision, the healing rate will be delayed.

To deter licking for a DOG:
1. Contact the hospital to pick up an E-Collar (cone) to place around the head.
2. Towel Neck Wrap: take a towel, fold it length wise and wrap it around your pet’s neck. Use duct tape to secure it from unwrapping. This thick towel neck wrap helps prevent licking of the “back 1/2 of the body”. The bigger the dog the bigger the towel needs to be. A tiny pooch needs a hand towel, a large dog try a bath towel, and for a giant dog use a beach towel. This will look like a whiplash neck collar.
3. T-shirt: place a t-shirt on your dog to prevent licking of the body, shoulders, or chest. Place a knot in the waist of the shirt to keep it from sliding forward. You may also put a small cut in the shirt near the waist hem and then slide one of the rear legs through this small slit to prevent the shirt from falling forward. You may also use a t-shirt to prevent licking of the rear end, hips, and knees. Put the shirt on your dog backwards, your pet’s rear legs through the shirt arms and waist hem toward the chest.
4. Onesie: if you have a small dog you may place a small baby onesie on your pet to cover the body.
5. Boxers or shorts for rear end issues.
6. Vet Wrap/bandage: you may cover the paws or legs with vet wrap. You may buy this soft non-adhesive bandaging material at PetSmart. Be careful with this material! You do not want to apply this too tight! Monitor your pet’s toes for swelling. If the toes should become swollen remove immediately and massage!

To deter licking for a CAT:
1. Contact the hospital to pick up an E-Collar (cone) to place around your cat’s head. You may purchase these at pet stores also.
2. Body Bandage: contact the hospital. We may be able to place a soft bandage or stockinette on your cat to prevent excessive licking or grooming.

Do not hesitate to call the hospital if you suspect your pet is licking or will lick the incision. It is better to be prepared than wake up to realize your pet has compromised the incision overnight and may require more medical attention.
If you need medical treatment while our office is closed, go to MedVet Cincinnati on Red Bank Expressway. 513-561-0069. They are open 24 hours.

Is my pet too old for surgery?

We meet many pet owners very worried about anesthesia for their pets since they have been previously told by another veterinarian that their pet was “too old for anesthesia”. Let’s consider the facts with regard to age and anesthesia risks.

1. Age is not a disease and does not directly reflect health status. We all know of healthy older people (or pets) and young people (and pets) with poor health. We prefer to evaluate each pet individually to accurately assess health status. Anesthesia is then individualized for each patient based on their health.

2. Health problems are addressed with well-planned anesthesia protocols. Fortunately patients with health problems can have safe anesthesia and recovery from surgery uneventfully.

How do I know if my pet is in pain?

The following is a list that contains common behaviors of pain for dogs & cats:

Crying and/or whining (dogs)
Growling and/or purring (cats)
Hiding (cats and dogs)
Not grooming (cats)
Squinting (cats)
Glassy-eyed, vacant look (dogs)
Hunched up body (cats and dogs)
Restlessness and changing positions often (dogs)
Not moving from one spot (cats)
Irritable or aggressive (cats and dogs)
No appetite (cats and dogs)
Shaking and trembling (dogs)
Protecting the hurting body part (cats and dogs)

Please contact the office or an after-hours veterinary clinic if you have concerns regarding your pet’s comfort, even if your pet’s signs are not on this list.

Frequently Asked Questions
What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept all major credit cards including; Debit cards, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. In addition, we accept Care Credit (Apply Online) for Veterinary services only.

We no longer accept checks.

What payment plans do you have?

If you are in need of a payment plan for your pet’s veterinary services we highly recommend and accept CareCredit. CareCredit is a credit card (GE Capital) only accepted and used for medical expenses. (Dentists, surgeons, hospitals, and some veterinarians accept this card.) CareCredit will provide you 6 months to pay off the charges interest free. You can apply for CareCredit online at home or in our hospital. If you have concerns regarding your applications acceptance, consider a family member or friend.

To apply for CareCredit; go to CareCredit is an affordable way to make monthly payments over 6 months without interest.

Not only can you use CareCredit for routine check-ups for your pet but it’s a good idea to have CareCredit on hand for an emergency or unplanned care.

Will your doctors sign online pharmacy FAXED prescriptions?

If you would like to have a prescription filled through an online pharmacy please call the clinic to request a written prescription. Once the prescription is authorized by the doctor it will be waiting for you at the front desk. For your pet’s safety, we keep a copy of all prescriptions as we have had multiple health related issues due to poor pharmacy regulations and mistakes.