Surgery

  • When will my pet have surgery?

The initial evaluation will give us the opportunity to assess your pet and to make a diagnostic and therapeutic plan. We will need to complete staging tests prior to scheduling a surgical procedure. The initial tests will vary and will take between 1-3 days for most imaging test. It can take 5-7 days for biopsy results to be available. We will discuss the recommended tests with you and, as soon as they are available, we will discuss the results. Once we have completed the necessary diagnostic tests, we will make our treatment recommendations and schedule surgery for your pet.

  • When will I meet the surgeon?

We have an integrated oncology service, which means that you may see a medical oncology clinician for a condition that requires surgery. We work as a team to develop a diagnostic and treatment plan. When available, one of our surgeons will come in to meet with you and to go over our recommendations. Once the diagnostics are complete, we will schedule a surgery appointment for you to meet with the attending faculty surgical oncologist. At that time, we will go over the test results and our recommendations for surgery. Surgery will be scheduled for the next day.

  • What time does my pet have to be at the hospital on a surgery day?

We admit our patients either the day before surgery or at 7:30 am the day of surgery. Once you have had your consultation with a surgeon, you can decide if you would prefer that your pet is admitted to the hospital or if you would like to return in the morning at 7:30 am. Anesthesiology requires that all patients be admitted at this time so that they can evaluate the surgical patients and get them ready for surgery. In certain cases, some patients will benefit from being admitted to the hospital and placed on intravenous fluids prior to surgery to ensure that they are well-hydrated before surgery. If we have concerns about this, we will discuss this with you.

  • What should I do while my pet is having surgery?

This is completely up to you. You are welcome to wait in the lobby during your pet’s surgery, or you can spend time at home or in Gainesville. As long as we can reach you by telephone, you should be wherever you are most comfortable.

  • Can I visit my pet the same day as surgery?

The visits on the same day as your pet’s surgery will be very brief. In some cases, this can cause the patients to become anxious, so we will have to decide together if this is the best thing for you and your pet.

  • How long will my pet be in hospital after surgery?

This depends on the type of surgery and on how your pet is recovering. Your pet will be hospitalized the night of surgery and may remain in the hospital for an additional 1-3 days, depending on their recovery. As a rule of thumb, our patients must be eating, drinking, on pain medications that they can be sent home with and able to walk on their own before we can discharge them from hospital.

  • Is there staffing all night at your hospital?

We have two areas where pets are hospitalized. Our intensive care unit and our progressive care unit. Both areas are fully staffed 24/7. Your pet will be monitored closely during their stay and will have regular walks outside. We also have doctors on staff all night to care for our in-hospital patients.

  • What is a Veterinary Surgical Oncologist?

Our attending faculty surgeons are board-certified with the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). They are also ACVS Fellows of Surgical Oncology. This means that our faculty have completed a fellowship in surgical oncology, or that they have had advanced training in cancer surgery. Our surgeons perform cancer surgery exclusively. You will also work with our Surgical Oncology Fellow. UF Vet Med has one of two ACVS Surgical Oncology Training programs in the world.

  • Can you perform additional procedures, such as vaccinations or dental prophylactic cleaning while my dog is at your hospital?

We do not perform these types of procedures on our oncology service. Please discuss these procedures with your family veterinarian. Dental cleaning is not recommended at the same time as a major surgical procedure.

  • Can you do limb salvage procedures for osteosarcoma in dogs at your hospital?

Our cancer surgeons are trained in limb salvage procedures. This can be done with radiosurgery or surgical limb salvage. If your dog has osteosarcoma, we will need to do a complete work up, including staging tests (Chest X-rays, Bone scan, abdominal ultrasound, and CT scan of the thorax and limbs) to assess if your dog is a candidate for a limb salvage procedure.