Mt. Zion Animal Clinic

3513 Mt. Zion Ave.
Janesville, WI 53546


Mt. Zion Animal Clinic, 
What You Need to Know Before Surgery

Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's surgery, and we hope this information will help.  It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet's upcoming surgery.



Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past.  Here at Mt. Zion Animal Clinic, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that a fever or other illness won't be a problem.  We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet.  The handout on anesthesia explains this in greater detail.

Pre-anesthetic blood screening is important in reducing some of the risks associated with anesthesia, and to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic.  We recommend in-house blood screening of all of our patients prior to receiving anesthesia.  For geriatric or compromised patients pre-anesthetic blood screening is essential, and sometimes additional tests may be needed.

Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing.  If there is a problem, it is much better to identify the problem before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications.  If minor problems are detected the patient's anesthetic protocol can be modified to account for these problems.  If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is addressed and corrected.

All of our patients receive IV catheters and IV fluids during all procedures requiring anesthesia.  In addition, we use the safest injectable and gas anesthetics available and utilize state-of-the-art monitoring systems to ensure your pet's safety during all anesthetic procedures.  Our veterinarians and experienced veterinary technicians closely monitor and care for each anesthetic patient individually until they are discharged, ensuring a smooth and safe recovery.

It is important that all patients have an empty stomach prior to any anesthetic procedure to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia.  You will need to withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before anesthesia.  Water can be left down for pets until the morning of the procedure.



For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin.  These will dissolve on their own, and do not need to be removed later.  Some surgeries, especially tumor removals, do require skin sutures.  With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge.  You will also need to monitor your pet for any licking or chewing of the incision.  If you notice any of these problems, please contact us.  You will also need to limit your pet's activity level during recovery.  You will not be able to give your pet a bath for the first 10 days after surgery, or until any skin sutures have been removed.  If your pet has skin sutures, these are usually removed 10-14 days after surgery.  We ask that you schedule an appointment for removal of skin sutures, but there is no additional charge for this service.  


margin-right: 10px; float: left;WILL MY PET BE IN PAIN?

Anything that causes pain in people can cause pain in animals.  Some pets will let their owners know when they are feeling pain, but some pets will actually hide their pain from their owners.  The type of pain medication and the amount of time it will be needed will depend on the surgery performed.  Major procedures typically require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations.  No patient will leave our hospital without the pain medication needed to alleviate their discomfort.

For dogs, we may recommend an oral anti-inflammatory the day after surgery and several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling.  We use newer medications, which are less likely to cause stomach upset and can be given even the morning of surgery.

Because cats do not tolerate standard pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol, we are limited in what we can give them.  Recent advances in pain medications have allowed for better pain control in cats than ever before.  We administer a pain injection 10 minutes prior to surgery.  After surgery, pain medication is given on a case by case basis.  Any animal that appears painful will receive additional pain medication.

We use narcotic patches for some surgeries in dogs as well.  The cost will depend on the size of the dog.  Injectable pain medications may also be used after surgery on both dogs and cats.  Providing whatever pain relief is appropriate is a humane and caring thing to do for your pet.



While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as dentistry, ear cleaning, or implanting an identification microchip.  If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time.  This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for surgery is not the primary decision maker for the pet's care.

When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need to 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other options available.  When you pick up your pet after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet's home care needs.

We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery or dental appointment, to confirm the appointment and to answer any questions you might have.  Our morning drop off time for our surgical and dental patients is between 8:00 and 8:30am.  Pick up of day surgery and dental patients is usually between 4:00 and 6:00pm.  Pick up time for patients that are spending the night after surgery is usually after 10:00 the next morning.  In the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions about your pet's health or procedure.