Surgery FAQs

Thank you for choosing to bring your beloved animal to My Budget Vet. We hope the information below will give you insight as to what to expect for your reservation. For additional questions, please be sure to email us at

Preparing for your pet’s reservation

  • Be sure you catch your animal the night before–ESPECIALLY CATS – and keep in a secure place overnight. Not being able to catch your animal in the morning is no excuse for being late.
  • Adult animals should have food withheld from midnight on the night before. This is to cut down on the risk of vomiting during surgery. The exception to this rule is young small breed dogs, they should be fed normally the night before and given a small meal around 6am to keep their blood glucose up. Rabbits and Sugar Gliders also do not need to have food withheld the night before.
  • All animals should have access to water all night.
  • Animals less than 4 months old and toy breed dogs, should have a small meal at 6am. These animals are prone to hypoglycemia(low blood sugar).
  • If you animal needs bathing, bathe it before surgery. You will not be able to bathe it for at least one week after surgery.
  • Remove collars and tags from all cats. This includes flea collars. Remove flea and tick collars from dogs.
  • All pets must be current on Rabies vaccination at time of surgery. If your pet is not current, we can administer the vaccine the day of surgery. You must bring written proof of current vaccination status if you do not want your pet to have the vaccination that day. This proof must be legible and correct. We will not call other vets on the day of surgery. If your pet has not been vaccinated, then a 1 year rabies shot will be required the day of surgery if they are old enough(over 12 weeks of age).
  • If you are bringing your pet in a carrier, please label the carrier with your last name and the pet’s name. LABEL it large and legible. You may bring multiple pets in a carrier only if they are easy to tell apart. They must go home in separate carriers for their own safety. You may purchase cardboard carriers at check-in.
  • If you have cats, it is recommended to bring them in smaller carriers in any case, since they can often escape from the large carriers, especially the wire ones. If you only have large carriers, you should be prepared to move the cats from the large carrier to smaller cardboard carriers(available from us for $10/piece) INSIDE your vehicle at check in. NEVER REMOVE A CAT FROM A CARRIER IN A PARKING LOT. THEY ARE VERY GOOD AT ESCAPING AND ARE NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE TO CATCH ONCE LOOSE.

Checking your pet in

  • Make sure to bring your invoice printed from the online store to receive credit for all deposits and prepayments to your account.
  • If you think your pet is pregnant, a cryptorchid, or has any other medical condition that might affect surgery, make this known on your paperwork. This is very important for us to correctly call pick-up times.
  • Be sure to take your reservation paperwork with you. Without the paperwork, you do not have a reservation. If someone else is bringing your pet, you must have downloaded and printed and consent form ahead of time and send a signed copy with the person presenting the pet. We will NOT perform surgery on any pet without a consent form.
  • Do not knowingly bring other people’s pets for surgery without informing us. Unless informed, we will assume this pet is legally yours and all payment, etc is your responsibility. Always fill out paperwork with the owner’s name and information. This applies to fosters of rescue dogs and cats. We only need the phone number of the foster who is actually picking up the pet. Whoever is named as the owner of the pet is also the one responsible for paying the bill at pick up.
  • If you know your pet is aggressive, please inform us during check in.
  • If you have a lot of questions about surgery, please call or email us ahead of time so we may answer them without time constraints.
  • You will be told a pick-up time when you drop your pet off. Please be back 15 minutes prior to that time. If you are late, there is a $55 charge for each 15 minutes you are late picking up your animal. Any animal not picked up by 5pm will be charged a day of hospitalization at $52.50
  • Be sure to give us an accurate phone number that you can answer promptly on the day of surgery. We may need to reach you with questions before surgery or to inform you of additional charges. If phone number is not correct, this could lead to cancellation of your surgery.

What is done during surgery?

  • All pets receive Capstar 24hr flea control. This is to protect your pet from picking up fleas from other animals. It is not sufficient to protect your pet long term.
  • All pets receive a preoperative exam. If we find any condition that we think will make surgery unsafe, you will be informed before surgery. In most cases, you will have the choice between proceeding at higher risk, or picking up the pet. Occasionally, we find conditions that completely preclude surgery.
  • Any pet over 5 years old should have preoperative labwork to be sure all internal organs are functioning well enough to tolerate anesthesia. This labwork should be done no earlier than 2 weeks before surgery. We can perform preoperative bloodwork the day of surgery. You should bring a copy of this labwork on the day of surgery.
  • All pets receive injectable pain medication before and after surgery. This will last approximately 24 hours. You will also be sent with 72 hours of oral pain medication to be given as needed (the exceptions are sugar gliders, rabbits, pigs and goats). You may opt to purchase additional pain medication at pick-up for $20. If your pet is pregnant or had extra procedures, we will recommend additional pain medication.
  • We use injectable ketamine and midazolam to induce anesthesia and maintain them on isoflourane gas and oxygen during surgery. This is an extremely safe protocol that most pets tolerate well. Some pets may require stronger medication to induce if they are aggressive. The alternative medication-telazol/ketamine/xylazine-is very potent and carries higher risk. We only use this when there is no alternative.
  • We open a sterile pack of suture, blade and new pack for each individual surgery. We do not reuse instruments without sterilizing them first.
  • We never re-use needles, syringes or blades. We consider this unsanitary.
  • All pets are recovered in the presence of the technician and doctor. Once awake, they are moved to the recovery room.
  • Any vaccinations, tests, etc are performed while asleep.

What does my pet need after surgery?

  • For cats and small dogs, we recommend keeping in a carrier placed in a dark, quiet, warm(not hot) place for 2-4 hours. The less you disturb them, the better they will recover. Some pets remain very agitated(especially cats!!!) after surgery and will bite or scratch. Please take proper precautions.
  • For larger dogs, place in a small room that is dark, quiet and warm. See 1 above.
  • If any pet is unresponsive(unable to elicit response to stimuli), or if you see significant bleeding, or it is having difficulty breathing or is violently agitated, take to a veterinarian immediately. Do not call us first.
  • After the initial 2-4 hours, small cats and dogs may be let out of carrier in a small room. Do not put any pet in a room where they are likely to try to jump on or off furniture. Bathrooms work best. They are easy to clean and most have no furniture.
  • For Adult animals, resume normal feeding in the morning. For toy breeds and those under 16 weeks of age, please feed small meals every 4 hours until midnight then resume normal feeding in the morning.
  • Keep cats confined to bathroom as follows: males-3 days, females-10 days. We will inform you otherwise at check out if we think they need to be confined longer.
  • Dogs need to be confined the same as cats if they are likely to jump on or off furniture. If not, they may be kept in the house or garage as follows: males-5 days, females-10 days. Leash walk only!!!! Do not allow them to play and run for 2 weeks to avoid pulling out sutures.
  • For cats, you should use shredded paper litter or Yesterdays News paper litter to avoid litter becoming stuck to surgery site. This will help prevent infection.
  • Any external sutures or staples should be removed at 14 days. Sutures will dissolve eventually and unless they are bothering the pet, don’t necessarily need to be removed.
  • Males, especially older males, that are allowed unrestricted activity after surgery will frequently have significant scrotal swelling.

What indicates my pet is having a problem after surgery?

  • Drainage from any surgical site after 24 hours.
  • Significant swelling or redness at surgical site(you may email us a picture) This needs to be checked by a vet ASAP.
  • Abdominal enlargement.
  • Lack of appetite after 24 hours
  • Bleeding from surgical site after 6 hours.
  • Opening of surgical site(please note that male cat surgical sites are not routinely closed, they will be open at pick up and will heal very rapidly)
  • Significant discomfort once all oral pain medication is gone or pain in spite of oral pain medication