Gold-Standard Surgery

Higher standards of surgical care


Spay & Neuter

When to spay your pet is a decision made between you and your pet’s doctor. Your pet is given an exam prior to surgery to help determine whether your pet is healthy enough to undergo the surgical procedure. Current vaccinations are required at the time of surgery. Also, a pre-anesthetic blood screen will be performed prior to anesthesia and surgery. Read More

Soft Tissue

Soft tissue surgeries are those that are not associated with bone. Examples of soft tissue surgery include surgeries of the eyelids and ear flaps, laceration repairs, gastric foreign body removal, bladder stone removal, and skin tumor removals.

Perhaps the most common soft tissue surgery we perform is the removal of skin tumors. Many of these masses, once they are removed and tested, are found to be benign (non-cancerous). Sometimes, however, they are more serious. Early removal and accurate diagnosis of a lump is important in improving the outcome for your pet!

Our surgical suite offers the latest technologies to improve your pet's health care, comfort, and outcome. We follow strict protocols for surgical sterility, monitoring, and pain management as outlined by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).
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Orthopedic surgeries are those that do involve bone, such as amputations (digit, limb, or tail) and knee surgeries. Dr. Rabaut is our FAH doctor most interested and experienced in orthopedic surgery. For more complicated orthopedic procedures a board certified veterinary surgeon is available at scheduled times for in-office consultations and in-hospital special surgeries. Read More

Surgery FAQs

Today’s modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past.  Here at Framingham Animal Hospital, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that a fever or systemic illness won’t be a problem.  We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet.  

Pre-anesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia.  Every pet needs blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic.  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 find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications.  If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected.

It is important that the pet is fasted overnight before surgery  (except rabbits!) to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia.  You will need to withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery.  Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.

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 stitches.  With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge.  Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for.  If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery.  You will also need to limit your pet’s activity level for a time and no baths are allowed for the first 10 days after surgery.

Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals.  Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don’t whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it.  Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed.  Major procedures require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations.

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.

Cats must be handled differently. Many standard pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol are toxic to cats.  We administer injectable pain medication prior to surgery. During and after surgery, we monitor carefully and administer additional pain medication on a case by case basis.  In some cases oral pain meds will be given to you to administer at home. 

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 discuss with your pet’s doctor 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 examine your pet again and answer any questions you may have.  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 appointment, to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off.  In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions about your pet’s health or surgery.