What to Expect

Welcome to the Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery Service.  Our board certified veterinary surgeons, surgical residents and certified veterinary technician are committed to providing excellent patient care and client service.  Our service sees appointments on Mondays and Wednesdays and performs surgery on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  On the day of your evaluation, your pet will need to be fasted after midnight prior to the exam.

Your Visit to the UF Orthopedic Surgery Service

At the time of your initial appointment, one of our junior or senior veterinary students will meet you in an examination room to take a history and perform a basic physical examination.  The doctor will repeat this examination, which will oftentimes occur away from you in our treatment area.  This is due to the nature of an orthopedic exam and also because it is part of the teaching process with our students.  The doctor will return to the exam room to discuss your pet’s condition and the types of testing we recommend.  If radiographs or a CT scan are needed for diagnosis or surgical planning, these images will be taken on the same day.

We know that your time is valuable, and we do all that we can to minimize your wait time.   It is typical, however, for an initial orthopedic evaluation to take 2-6 hours because images taken must be interpreted by our board certified radiologists and then analyzed by our surgeons before they determine which treatments and/or surgeries would be of the most benefit to your pet.  The UF Small Animal Hospital has a spacious, comfortable lobby area, but many clients prefer to leave the building for a few hours and go to lunch or shop in Gainesville.

If surgery is recommended for your pet, it typically will be scheduled for the following day.  Our wards and ICU are staffed 24 hours a day so our patients receive round the clock care.  We realize that it can be stressful to hospitalize your pet, and we understand that you will have questions.  Our team members will speak with you before and after your pet’s surgery and your veterinary student will call you twice daily while your pet is in the hospital and will touch base with you after your pet is at home.

You will receive detailed discharge instructions on the day your pet goes home.  We are available to answer your questions.  You may call the hospital’s call center or email our technician.  In general, most orthopedic surgery patients will need to have recheck examinations and radiographs at one and three months after surgery.  The cost of the surgery performed does not include fees charged for follow-up appointments.

Unless otherwise directed, please do not feed your pet (food) after midnight on the night before his/her appointment (unless your pet is diabetic); Water is allowed (as much as desired).  Unless otherwise directed, medications can be give to your pet as prescribed.